Poached Rhubarb - Supper in the Suburbs (2024)

Learning how to make poached rhubarb is an essential skill for any home cook. It’s so versatile! Find out more below.

Page Contents

What is poached rhubarb?

Poached rhubarb is rhubarb that has been cooked until just soft and tender using the poaching method.

It’s such a fantastic skill to learn as it gives you perfectly cooked rhubarb every time, without it losing it’s shape or too much of it’s colour.

Poaching rhubarb also produces a delicious, pink, rhubarb flavoured syrup as a byproduct. More suggestion on how to use that below.

How to poach rhubarb

Poaching simply means to cook something by submerging the food in liquid. That liquid might be water, milk, stock or wine. In this case it’s a simple syrup made from sugar and water (we need the sugar to combat the tartness of the rhubarb).

You might be wondering how that is any different to boiling or simmering. You’ll see from the recipe below that we bring the poaching liquid up to boiling, add the rhubarb and then immediately take it off of the heat (rather than letting the liquid continue to bubble away).

This means that the rhubarb is cooking in the residual heat of the liquid which is much lower than if we were to continue simmering the poaching liquid. It is this slow, gentle cooking of the rhubarb that retains it’s shape and, to a certain extent, colour.

How do I make sure my rhubarb stays pink?

Not all rhubarb is pink. Only the “forced” variety has a bright pink hue. Try to buy the most vivid forced rhubarb you can as that will give you a better starting point.

Sadly the rhubarb will naturally lose some of its colour during the cooking process. This is what in turn colours the simple syrup pink.

A pro tip is to add just a splash of grenadine to the poaching liquid as this will help to stain the rhubarb pink. It’s a technique used in professional kitchens so why not use it in yours?

Try not to be too heavy handed with the grenadine though – no more than a tablespoon is plenty. Any more than that and it will dominate the delicate flavour of the rhubarb. We only want to use grenadine for colour not for taste.

What can I do with poached rhubarb?

Poached rhubarb tastes delicious warm or cold. These are some of my favourite ways to enjoy it:

  • On its own or with a little vegan custard.
  • On top of overnight oats or porridge.
  • Served with pancakes or waffles.
  • As a garnish for panna cotta, mousses and meringues.

How long will poached rhubarb keep?

Poached rhubarb will keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a year.

The recipe

Poached Rhubarb - Supper in the Suburbs (2)

Poached Rhubarb

Knowing how to poach rhubarb is an essential skill every home chef should have. Find out how to make it below.

4.60 from 10 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 10 minutes mins

Cooling time 15 minutes mins

Total Time 30 minutes mins

Course Dessert, Ingredient

Cuisine British

Servings 4 people

Calories 271 kcal


  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 250 g water
  • 400 g rhubarb cut into batons


  • Add the caster sugar to a sauce pan along with 250 g of water.

  • Place the pan on a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has all dissolved.

  • Add the batons of rhubarb to the boiling syrup, then immediately turn off the heat.

  • Place the pan to one side to cool for at least 15 minutes. The rhubarb will continue to cook and soften during this time.

  • Remove the rhubarb batons from the syrup.

  • Either serve immediately, or chill and keep in the fridge until required.


Calories: 271kcalCarbohydrates: 67.04gProtein: 0.93gFat: 0.23gSaturated Fat: 0.08gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 7.15mgPotassium: 288mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 63.6gVitamin A: 102IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 87.88mgIron: 0.22mg

Keyword caster sugar, rhubarb

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What can I make with rhubarb simple syrup?

I mentioned earlier that you can also keep the rhubarb flavoured simple syrup after you have finished poaching the rhubarb.

I steralise a small 300ml bottle and save the syrup for use in co*cktails and other drinks or as a syrup for pancakes and waffles and other desserts.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas for how to use it.

How long will rhubarb simple syrup keep?

The rhubarb simple syrup will last a little longer than the rhubarb poached itself. I find it lasts well in a bottle in the fridge for 1 – 2 weeks.

More rhubarb recipes

You could also try my:

  • Rhubarb and Ginger Pie
  • Rhubarb and Custard co*cktails

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb and Custard Overnight Oats

Both of these recipes are vegan and can be enjoyed on a plant based diet.

Did you know?

You can search the blog by ingredient in my Recipe Index.


Poached Rhubarb - Supper in the Suburbs (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5750

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.