Duckweed is a plant that has a slimy, green appearance that covers ponds and lakes in the mid-summer months in various regions. While you won’t find duckweed on many restaurant menus, it is edible and has a unique flavor that compliments numerous dishes. Locating duckweed may be difficult, but many farmers markets in rural areas sell duckweed, and it can be ordered through specialty gourmet outlets in some areas.
Place the duckweed in a large glass container and pour enough cold, clean water over the top to fully cover the duckweed. Cover the container and allow it to soften in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Drain the duckweed in a colander in the kitchen sink for one hour. Pat the duckweed dry with paper towels and reserve until needed.
Chop the garlic, ginger and shallots. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat for one minute or until hot.
Add the garlic, ginger and shallots to the sauté pan. Cook for one minute or until the onions are translucent but not browned.
Add the duckweed to the sauté pan. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon.
Add the white wine to the sauté pan. Cover the sauté pan and reduce the heat to low. Allow the duckweed to steam in the wine for approximately five minutes or until the wine has fully evaporated.
Remove the duckweed from heat and transfer it to a serving dish or individual plates. Serve immediately while hot or reserve in a storage container in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before discarding it.
Use a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc for this dish. Use a good-quality wine that you can serve along with the duckweed and main course.
Duckweed pairs particularly well with fish dishes like baked salmon, pan-fried tilapia and deep-fried catfish.
Don’t harvest duckweed yourself from a pond unless you know the pond is clean and no dangerous chemicals have been added.