Pickled Hop Shoots

By • April 21, 2013 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Years ago when my family travelled to Belgium we were served hop shoots which were only available for a brief period in the springtime. Ever since then my mother has looked for them without luck. From time to time I have also inquired on her behalf and have mostly been met with confused looks. Until last year. The recent explosion of tiny neighborhood breweries in Denver (and surrounding) has also spurred the business of growing hops. Much to my surprise there is a hops farm only about 15 minutes from our workshop that supplies the hops to one of our neighborhood breweries. When I wrote Voss Farms asking about the hop shoots, the owner not only invited me to come get some, but gave me three bags of different varieties in addition to several plants I could grow myself. The typical recipe we had in Brussels involved poaching the shoots which were then served with hollandaise and a fried egg. I aim to make that next, but in the meantime pickled a bunch of them for some salmon burgers we were cooking. Obviously hop shoots are not something available to everyone, but this pickling liquid would be equally good on bean sprouts (similar shape and texture), asparagus or beans. It has a nice kick and the beer, fennel seed, mustard seed and garlic provide a really nice flavor. I made just this small batch and did not bother actually canning them as I knew we'd eat them in good time.savorthis

Makes 2 cups

  • 4 cups hop shoots (or other veg)
  • 1 cup IPA
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  1. Simmer all ingredients except hops in a large pot until sugar and salt have dissolved. Add hop shoots and simmer about 5 minutes. Allow to cool in liquid, then put shoots and liquid into a large jar with a tight lid and keep in the refrigerator. Can be eaten a couple hours later, but will get better over time.
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Comments (7) Questions (0)


6 months ago Jon Larson

This looks great. It looks like it has been a few years since this post, have you made any updates to the recipe? I have heaps of hops and would love to work them into recipes and pickle them as well. thanks!


6 months ago savorthis

I haven't made them since! I had hunted them down from a local farmer for my mother who once had them in Belgium and loved them. It seems there is only a brief time you can eat the little fresh shoots. The texture was similar to bean sprouts. Let me know if you try it!


about 2 years ago Kim Miller

Thank you! This is the second year that I'll be growing hops and last year I just threw the shoots away. This years I'll give this a try. Thanks again!


about 2 years ago Kim Miller

Quick question...how should the shoots be cleaned or pruned for this?


about 2 years ago savorthis

I rinsed them in a big pot of water to remove all the dirt and tried removing any that were too woody. I was not that picky though since I had so many....so if there were a couple that ended up a little tough I just discarded it. I found that the shoots with more greenery were a little bit more bitter- not a lot, just not as sweet as the bare ones.


over 2 years ago Midge

I'm intrigued! Will be on the lookout for hop shoots.


over 2 years ago savorthis

If you find them you could also try the poached version. From what I read you can poach them in lemon water, then serve them with a bechamel and fried egg. Sounds good...I just haven't tried it yet!