how to stir fry fernbracke for bibimbap | Family Cuisine

Fernbrake is a type of wild fern that grows in the mountains. It has a nice, crunchy texture and can be used to make bibimbap, which is a Korean dish that consists of rice, vegetables,

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How to stir fry fernbracke for bibimbap

Gosari namul is a traditional Korean side dish made with edible fern known as fernbrake or bracken fiddleheads. It is seasoned with soy sauce and minced garlic among other things and has a meaty texture. It is commonly served in traditional bibimbap!

Korean Side Dish - Gosari Namul (Seasoned Fernbrake) |

Reading: how to stir fry fernbracke for bibimbap

Today I’m sharing a Korean traditional side dish, Gosari Namul (고사리 나물, Seasoned Fernbrake Side Dish) recipe.

FYI, I shared Doraji Namul (Sautéed bellflower root) recipe last week. These two namul are often served together at an ancestral memorial service table (charyesang) and also in bibimbap.

What is Gosari

Gosari / Kosari (고사리) is the young stem of fernbrake (or fiddlehead). It is commonly used to make a side dish or soup / stew (e.g. yukgaejang) in Korean cooking.

You can get dried fernbrake or ready to use fernbrake (e.g. boiled and frozen fernbrake) from a Korean grocery store. Though it is much easier to find dried fernbrake, as frozen ones are not always available. It is also more expensive.

Gosari (Dried fernbrake) |

The above dried gosari package weighs 80 g / 2.8 ounces and I normally hydrate them all in one go even though my recipe below is made with about half of the hydrated gosari.

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For the part that I do not use straight away, I simply put them in a plastic bag and freeze them after boiling and cooling it down. You can use the remainder to make more gosari namul later or use it in soup or stew.

What Gosari Tastes like

I don’t know what raw or ready to use gosari tastes like as I’ve only tried it in a finished form such as today’s recipe – Gosari Namul.

Among other things, gosari namul is seasoned with soy sauce, minced garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds. So it has a mildly garlicky and salty taste. Also, you should expect a strong nutty aroma coming from sesame oil and sesame seeds. They quickly overtake the fernbrake, in a good way. It smells and tastes warm and earthy.

Gosari namul is a great vegetable side dish to make. As an indication, it is a very common side dish at a Korean dinner table. (It feels like I had it almost as often as kimchi growing up.)

On a side note, there is some controversy whether it is even safe to eat gosari / fernbrake / fiddleheads or not. This was surprising! I’ve been eating this all my life (30+ years) and only just discovered the potential danger. 😆

Anyway, if you’re interested, you can read about the controversy from here. But, I think the Korean way of preparing and cooking the fernbrake makes it “safer” to eat. (This is not medical or health advice. Seek your professional advisor’s opinion if you’re too concerned.) Enjoy!

How to Make Gosari Namul (Korean fernbrake side dish) |

Ingredients for Gosari Namul, serves 6 to 8 as a side dish


  • 190 g / 6.7 ounces hydrated gosari (fernbrake)
  • Some water to boil gosari
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • Some cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)

Seasoning (Mix these in a bowl)

  • 1 Tbsp regular soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean ingredients list!

How to Make Gosari Namul

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1.Place the dried gosari / fernbrake in a large bowl and immerse in water overnight (8 to 12 hours). Drain away the water. Boil some water in a sauce pan (enough to cover the fernbrake) and add the fernbrake in the rolling boiling water then boil for a further 30 minutes. Drain away the water and rinse the gosari well under cold running water.

How to Cook Gosari (Fernbrake) for Korean Cooking |

2. Comb through the fernbrake and cut any hard woody bits from the stem then discard them. (This is a bit of a fiddly and time consuming process but is totally worth it!) Line them up and cut into index finger lengths. Transfer them into a mixing bowl. Add the seasoning sauce and mix them well.

Seasoning gosari (fernbrake)

3. Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Once heated, spread the cooking oil. Add the seasoned fernbrake and stir around for a few minutes. Add the water (3 Tbsp) and simmer it over low heat for a further 3 minutes. Garnish with the sesame seeds. Remove from the heat. Serve. It can be refrigerated in an air tight container for 3 to 4 days.

Stir frying gosarji (fernbrake)

Gosari Namul Recipe (Korean fernbrake side dish) |

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