How To Clean Waterblommetjies

Waterblommetjies are a popular South African delicacy known for their unique flavor and texture. These small, water lily buds are harvested during the winter months and have been enjoyed for generations. To truly appreciate their taste, it is important to know how to clean waterblommetjies properly. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning waterblommetjies to ensure they are safe to eat and enhance the overall dining experience.

1. Harvesting Waterblommetjies

The first step in cleaning waterblommetjies is to carefully harvest them. It is important to choose buds that are still closed and have a vibrant green color. Gently break or cut the stems close to the water’s surface to ensure you don’t damage the plant. Collect the waterblommetjies in a clean container, ensuring they are not mixed with any other aquatic plants or debris.

2. Removing Any Unwanted Debris

Once you have collected the waterblommetjies, it is essential to remove any unwanted debris. Start by rinsing them under cold, running water to remove any sand, dirt, or tiny insects that may be hiding in the buds. Carefully inspect each bud and use a small brush or your fingers to remove any remaining dirt or debris. Be thorough during this process to ensure you end up with clean and delicious waterblommetjies.

3. Soaking the Waterblommetjies

To further clean the waterblommetjies, soaking them in cold water is highly recommended. Place the cleaned buds in a bowl or basin filled with fresh cold water. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes, allowing any remaining dirt or impurities to settle at the bottom. Gently swish the waterblommetjies around in the water to dislodge any trapped debris. After the soaking process, carefully drain the water, leaving the clean waterblommetjies behind.

How To Clean Waterblommetjies

4. Repeating the Soaking Process

Depending on the condition of the waterblommetjies, you may need to repeat the soaking process. If the waterblommetjies still appear dirty or have a gritty texture, fill the bowl or basin with fresh water and repeat the soaking step. This helps ensure that any stubborn dirt or debris is completely removed, leaving you with pristine waterblommetjies.

5. Final Rinse

After the soaking process, give the waterblommetjies a final rinse under cold, running water. This step helps to remove any remaining impurities that may have been loosened during the soaking process. Gently shake the buds to remove excess water and let them sit on a clean towel or paper towel to air dry briefly.

6. Storing the Cleaned Waterblommetjies

Once the waterblommetjies are clean and dry, store them properly to maintain their quality. Place them in a clean container or airtight bag and refrigerate. They can be stored for up to five days, ensuring they remain fresh until it’s time to cook.


Cleaning waterblommetjies is an important step in preparing this cherished South African delicacy. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your waterblommetjies are free from dirt and debris, allowing their unique flavor to shine in your culinary creations. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy this seasonal delicacy that is a true taste of South Africa.