I love foraging for “edible weeds” and harvesting the bounty that nature provides. It is the season for poke salad greens and I have made poke salad (aka Polk Salad) many times before. This time I thought I would try something new and unusual so I have a polk salad recipe with a twist- Poke Salad Fried Rice.
POKE SALAD RECIPE AKA Polk Salad Recipe (BUT BEWARE OF IT’S DANGEROUS SIDE!)
Phytolacca americana – AKA Poke Salad Greens, Pokeweed, Poke Weed, Polk Salad Plant, Polkweed, pokeweed salad, and Poke Sallet
Poke salad greens are now ready to pick and cook now that spring is here. Poke weed is a foraging challenge. Good for you, only if cooked TWICE. Poke Salad Plant is poisonous raw! With care, you can enjoy this abundant and tasty plant in the spring.
This reliable wild edible expert explains:
“It is not the most commonly eaten food from a poisonous source. Tapioca or cashews would probably take that prize. But poke weed’s in the running. If prepared incorrectly or carelessly it can make you quite ill, or worse, put a ‘k’ in front of ill as in kill you. But when picked and prepared properly, as millions have done over the centuries, it is perhaps the most delicious pot herb of all” –Eat The Weeds
Poke Salad Greens Nutrition: ABUNDANTLY NUTRITIOUS & DELICIOUS
Nutritionally, poke weed is a powerhouse: A half cup of the greens provides 35 calories (10 from fat), no cholesterol, three grams dietary fiber, and 90% of your daily need for vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, 8% calcium, and 6% of iron. Poke weed has 8,700 IU’s of vitamin A per 100g serving.
For details on proper identification and cooking times please remember my danger warning and use the guidance offered at:
Preparation of Wild Edible Poke Salad Greens
Poke Salad Greens like to grow along fence lines on disturbed ground. Where it grows, it usually grows in abundance.
Use your hand to measure an approximate six inches height. You can pick the EARLY growth, the shoots should be no taller than 6 inches.
I had the blessing of a beautiful day yesterday picking some wild edibles. I picked the last of our early spring dandelions and I was able to pick probably about 10 pounds of Poke Salad. Last night I processed the dandelion greens, meaning I cleaned them, packaged them into freezer bags raw with folded paper towels inside the bag to absorb the moisture. Dandelions prepared this way keep very well in the refrigerator.
The Poke Salad Greens I will blanche. Meaning I will cook them for one minute, pack them into freezer bags, and mark the bag that they must be cooked again, then I will put those in the freezer for later use.
POLK SALAD RECIPE: POKE SALAD FRIED RICE
I had the pleasure yesterday evening of trying my hand at a recipe I made up and it worked very well.
- 4 Cups chopped freshly-picked Poke Salad Greens shoots (picked at 6 inches high)
1 Cup chopped onion
- ¼ Cup Diced ginger-root
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2-3 Eggs
- 1 Cup of cooked rice ( I chose brown)
- Soy Sauce or Spicy Stir Fry Sauce
- Bell pepper garnish
- Salt & pepper to taste
- cooking oil to taste
How To Make Polk Salad Fried Rice
Chop the poke salad greens into about 1 inch sections and then cook poke salad twice as instructed below.
Boil your Poke Salad Greens for 5 minutes, pour off the water. Boil a SECOND TIME for half an hour. If you still see any color in the water, you may want to boil a third time, as some people are extra careful with Poke. When done place them in a strainer. I have been eating Poke Salad since I was a child. I only boil them twice and I am still living! (Smile)
Cook your rice set it aside.
Chop onions, garlic and ginger root.
Start your fried rice. Meaning, use a little bit of cooking oil to brown your onions, garlic and ginger root, adding your desired salt, pepper and spices. Add the rice, and get it nice and crisp it up a little. When it is getting hot, you can add the raw eggs (mixed in a bowl) as they will be cooked by the heat in the rice. Mix it well so the egg is evenly distributed. Then add your cooked poke, mix and prepare to serve with your desired garnishes.
I hope you enjoy this new spin on a polk salad recipe. Don’t forget- poke salad is poisonous raw and only safe to eat if cooked twice. Do you think you will try this polk salad recipe?
Forage not only for wild edibles but also while foraging, forage for understanding: “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not… neither decline from the words of my mouth.” Proverbs 4:5
If you enjoy this wild but dangerous edible, you may also like may apples.