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Canning: Pickled Cattail Shoots

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  • Complexity: easy
Canning:  Pickled Cattail Shoots

This is a very basic recipe to make four-pint (500 milliliters) jars. You’ll need approximately 32 medium-sized cattail shoots. Feel free to experiment with your favorite spices.


  • 8 medium-sized cattail shoots
  • 1⁄4 California bay leaf (or 1⁄2 regular bay leaf)
  • 2 small chili pods—optional, but I like a little spicy kick (the choice of chili will determine the “kick”—I use dried whole Japanese chili peppers)
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) sea salt
  • 3 cups (709 milliliters) apple cider vinegar (5 percent acidity)
  • 2 cups (473 milliliters) sweet white wine or white elderberry wine (from Mexican elder)
  • Step by Step Directions

    1. Clean your cattail shoots thoroughly and keep the most tender parts, usually the first 5 inches or so. Remove the outer layers if necessary.

      Clean the jars thoroughly, then place the shoots and other ingredients in them. I keep the jars somewhat hot by standing them in a couple of inches of hot water. That’s because I’ve had a couple of (cold) jars crack when pouring the hot pickling solution in them.

      Follow basic water bath canning methods. Bring the pickling solution to a boil and pour it slowly into the hot jars, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a clean spoon or knife. Your cattail shoots will tend to oat; you will need to push them down when putting the lids on the jars.

      Place in the refrigerator and enjoy after a couple of weeks. If you want to can them using the water bath method, process them for 25 minutes in boiling water.

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