Home » Korean Side Dishes (Banchan) » Gosari Namul (Korean Fernbrake Side Dish)

Gosari Namul (Korean Fernbrake Side Dish)

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) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

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) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

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.

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) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

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

Main

  • 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

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 | MyKoreanKitchen.com

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) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

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Korean Side Dish - Gosari Namul (Seasoned Fernbrake) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Gosari Namul (Korean Fernbrake Side Dish)

How to Make Korean Gosari Namul
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: gosari namul
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 32.5kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

MAIN

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

Instructions

  • 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 rolling boiling water then boil for a further 30 minutes. Drain away the water and rinse the gosari well under cold running water.
  • Comb through the fernbrake and cut any hard woody bits from the stem and 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.
  • 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.

Notes

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml
**The prep time does not include overnight soaking of dried gosari (fernbrake)

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 32.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1.035g | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 4mg | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

Written by: Sue

Last Updated:

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Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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