Orlyak fern - to admire or eat?
May in the Far East is not only the beginning of the sowing / planting season, but also the appearance on the local markets of the first popular wild plants - wild garlic and fern. Collectors of these taiga gifts get out into the forest, equipped a little less than those who go to the zone of chemical pollution. In the taiga, ticks are feasting at this time. Some of them are encephalitis, so nobody wants to try their luck. And fern and wild garlic, just the opposite - I want to. Because it is the same integral part of life as honeysuckle and blueberries in the summer, and fish, mushrooms, lingonberries, lemongrass and cranberries in the autumn. I will tell you about the edible fern, which is available in most parts of the country, and is used mainly in the Asian part, in this article.
Orlyak fern - plant description
Orlyak ordinary (Pteridium aquilinum) — one of the most common ferns in Russia. Despite the active harvesting and export to China and Japan, we have a lot of ferns. And, as usual, in supermarkets, if a fern is found for sale, it is ours, but it is packed in China.
Bracken is growing everywhere. It is easier to list where it does not grow - in the tundra, desert and steppe. In general, if there is a forest, even burned or cut down, it is very likely that there is an bracken fern. It grows strongly, even aggressively, especially in those places where there is no habit of harvesting and eating it. Although in some regions (for example, Komi and Sakha) it is listed in the Red Book.
And how beautiful! Meter openwork leaves (waii) are good both singly and in the array. By the way, it does not grow in a bush - single vayi leave the rhizome.
They are on his long stalks and tend to occupy a horizontal position. The rhizome is powerful, dark, consists of horizontal and vertical parts. A piece of rhizome with wai-leaves can be separated and planted where it will be convenient to come in the spring for fern shoots. This is a good option, because the real "secret-breeding" reproduction of ferns by spores may not be particularly difficult, but it is not common among gardeners.
You can, of course, fern and plant on the site as a decorative and vegetable plant, if the place allows.
In mature fern leaves, spores are located "border" around the leaf on the back side. If you need a large plantation, you can attend to spore reproduction, with growing sprouts, and then real plants.
Leaf petiole rounded, juicy. At the petiole section, the vascular bundles are arranged in such a way that a pattern resembling an eagle is seen, hence the name. This, of course, depends on the imagination and associations, but the name already exists.
What to take from him?
The most common "bribe" from the bracken - rachis is young, not yet unfolded leaves with petioles. They are broken off near the ground. From a botanical point of view, the name is not entirely true, but has taken root.
Rakhis should be no more than 20-25 cm and break off with a crunch. Young shoots are not necessarily green - they can be dark green, brownish, purple and even striped. These are just varieties, and the taste is the same.
It is not unfolded leaves that are eaten. They are rich in protein, vitamins, carotene, organic acids, flavonoids, trace elements. Fern also contains the substance ecdysterone, which has a stimulating effect, lowers blood cholesterol, inhibits (inhibits) the growth of sarcoma cells and some cancerous tumors.
The use of fern has a beneficial effect on growth processes, on the condition of the mucous membranes, improves the condition of the endocrine system, increases muscle performance, and promotes the withdrawal of radionuclides. He also has low calorie content.
Raw fern shoots cannot be consumed - they contain the carcinogen ptacviloside and the vitamin B1-destroying enzyme thiaminase. Blanching in salt water or soaking in salt water is a mandatory preparation before cooking that removes ptacviloside. Thiaminase is destroyed by heat treatment.
If the leaves had time to unfold, you can collect and use the unfolded. Just do not eat, but find another use for them:
- plant leaves have a specific (not mean - nasty) smell, due to which they have a repellent (scaring) effect on bedbugs, flies, cockroaches, spiders;
- leaf infusion has an insecticidal effect on spider mites, aphids and thrips;
- leaves prevent decay - you can wrap meat, fish or vegetables in them - they are stored longer, leaves can be transferred to vegetables in the storehouse;
- it can be added to cattle litter, this improves the mineral component of manure and suppresses putrefactive processes;
- antimicrobial properties of leaves allow you to use them as a wound healing agent.
If the fern plantation has grown and interferes greatly, you can dig up the roots, they are very starchy. They make flour and add it when baking bread. There is a lot of fiber in the flour, it is rough. An infusion of fern rhizomes is used as an anthelmintic.
In some places where the bracken behaves very aggressively, it’s nice to pull it out / dig it out, dry it and burn it. The ash will contain a lot of potassium carbonate and garden plants, besides those who like acid soil, will be very grateful for feeding this ash.
Potash, the same potassium carbonate, was obtained from leaf ash a couple of centuries ago. And they used it, in particular, in cooking, for example, when baking gingerbread. Potassium carbonate is currently registered as a food supplement E501. They are now producing it, of course, differently and in large volumes. Potassium carbonate has a wide range of applications, from the production of liquid soap and pigments to the production of refractory glass and the absorption of hydrogen sulfide in gas cleaning.
How to harvest fern?
Freshly picked fern rachis should be processed, like mushrooms, as soon as possible. By the way, they have a mushroom flavor.
The most common fern harvesting option for long-term storage is salting.
There are many ways, I salted like this:
- Fern - 3 kg.
- Salt - 750 g.
Pour a little salt into a large enameled pan at the bottom, put a layer of 2-3 cm fern, pour generously with salt. And so on until the fern and salt run out. The top layer of salt is the thickest. Press down on top with a large flat plate, put oppression and remove from eyes in a cool place for 3 weeks.
- Fern - how much it turned out;
- Water - 1 liter;
- Salt - 350 g.
After three weeks, remove, drain the resulting liquid. Peanuts will become dark olive, flexible. Pull the rachis out of the pan, put it in sterile jars tightly. Dissolve salt in water, pour fern into this brine, and cork. Store in a cool place. Until the next season is no problem.
Can to freeze, it is simpler and faster:
- Fern - 1 kg;
- Water - 4 L;
- Salt - 100 g.
Boil water, dissolve salt. In boiling water in portions of 0.2 kg lay the chopped fern, cook after boiling for 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, put in a colander.
When it cools and dries, lay in containers and freeze.
Dry also possible. Unlike other products, the boiled fern is dried, otherwise the rachis will become wooden when dried. The cooking principle is the same as when freezing, only it is better not to cut it.
You can dry, spread out in the sun, nothing will happen to him. After drying, put only petioles in storage, the rest must be shaken off. Store like dried mushrooms - fern is also hygroscopic.
How and with what to eat fern?
Before cooking, the salted fern is washed and soaked for 12 hours with a change of water every 4 hours. Then the hard ends are cut off and you can cook.
The dried fern is soaked overnight, then the water is drained, the stems are dried.
Frozen - thawed.
Then everything is simple.
- 200 g of fern, cut into 3 cm pieces;
- 50 g onion, chopped in half rings;
- 1 tbsp. l refined vegetable oil;
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce.
Heat the oil, lightly fry the onions, add the fern, fry for another 5 minutes. Pour in soy sauce, mix well, warm over low heat for 5 minutes.
The basis is universal. You can eat like that, you can mix with Korean carrots or boiled egg, with any meat products, mushrooms, squid.
- 0.5 kg of pork;
- 0.8 kg of fern;
- 2 onions;
- cooking oil for frying;
- 50 g of soy sauce;
- pepper - to taste;
- 1 tbsp. water.
Cut pork into strips, onions in half rings, fern into pieces. Heat the oil in a pan, slightly fry the onions, add pork and fry until the meat is ready. Put fern for meat, pepper, pour in soy sauce, water, reduce heat to a minimum and simmer under the lid for about 10 minutes. Very tasty!
Delicious fern caviar with mushrooms:
- 0.3 kg of fern;
- 1 large carrot;
- 1 onion;
- 0.2 kg of champignons;
- cooking oil for frying;
- salt, pepper to taste.
Cut the fern into pieces, onion in half rings, grate the carrots, mushrooms - in slices. Heat the oil in a pan, fry the carrots with onions and mushrooms for 15 minutes, add fern, salt, pepper, fry for another 10 minutes. Cool.
Pass through a meat grinder (a blender does not work out so well). Mix everything and still warm in a pan with vegetable oil. You can store it in a jar and use it as a “spread.”
Here is such a universal bracken fern - to plant on the site, and then in the spring to suffer: either eat, or admire.