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Japanese knotweed has the potential to cause disastrous consequences to the structural integrity of a property if left untreated. However, this invasive weed is also edible and used to compliment a variety of delicious and nutritious recipes.

Likened to a lemony rhubarb taste, the tasty weed can only be eaten at certain times of the year. The first shoots in spring up to 20cm in height are tender enough to eat with the ideal time to consume the weed being mid-April to May. It is important not to eat the weed when it is fully grown as the adult plant may cause mouth blisters. When edible, knotweed is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C and its sweet taste make it suitable in a variety of dishes such as crumbles, fools, muffins and more.

Japanese knotweed muffins


300g thinly chopped Japanese knotweed

300g plain flour

100g butter

100g golden castor sugar

Brown sugar

200ml milk

2 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder


  1. Beat 2 eggs with milk and melted butter
  2. Mix plain flour with baking powder
  3. Mix Japanese knotweed with 3tbsp of golden castor sugar
  4. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for ten minutes until tender and leave to cool
  5. Line a muffin tin with paper cases and stir all ingredients together.
  6. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 25-30 mins until golden.  

Japanese knotweed fool


450g chopped Japanese knotweed

300ml double cream

100ml Greek yoghurt

5 tbsp caster sugar

Mint leaves

Apple juice


  1. Whip the cream until it forms peaks and then stir in the yoghurt
  2. Cook the knotweed in apple juice until tender. Strain and blend until smooth
  3. Fold in the Japanese knotweed and refrigerate the mix for 60 minutes
  4. Add mint leaves to garnish

Japanese knotweed crumble


10 Japanese knotweed stems

180g flour

110g butter

110g brown sugar

8 tbsp caster sugar

4 tbsp water

1 tsp ginger powder


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Slice the Japanese knotweed into 7 ½ cm pieces, sprinkle with water and castor sugar
  3. Bake for 10 minutes until tender and mix with ginger powder.
  4. Fold the butter into the flour and sugar to create crumble topping.
  5. Place the Japanese knotweed into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle the crumble topping over the knotweed and bake for 35 minutes

Things to remember

It is important to note that Japanese knotweed is classed as controlled waste and it must be disposed of at a registered landfill site.
Failure to do so may result in prosecution from the environment agency.
Also, as Japanese knotweed can be so harmful to properties, it is often sprayed with herbicides so it is important to know for certain that the plant has not been treated with chemicals before considering cooking.
If the plant is safe to eat and disposed of correctly, it can make a great addition to a number of tasty meals and desserts.


By Jake Ryan of wise knotweed solutions