Asplenium/Asplenium australasicum/Bird Nest Fern– what a beautiful bunch of fresh young curls!

You probably know it as an ornamental plant, but did you know the young leaves are also a vegetable?

It is very popular in Taiwan, especially in the eastern region, where the indigenous people forage the proliferous growth in the wild, in the mountainous regions. These days, they are grown commercially as well, due to their popularity.

The tender leaves have a rather fresh taste, with the stem gorgeously crunchy after a quick stir fry. My love for this ‘mountain vegetable’ developed before they became widely available in restaurants & supermarkets, when my parents’ aboriginal neighbours shared after their foraging session.

In case you were wondering– no, I’ve not bought up the entire supply of it at the garden centre 😁😁.

Ps. Apparently there are two types of these, one not edible—if you intend to eat it, PLEASE DO make sure you only buy your Birds Nest Fern shoots from a food retailer.