Monday, 9 August 2010

Cooking Marsh Samphire

Marsh samphire has vibrant green stalks, similar to baby asparagus, with a distinctively crisp and salty taste. It can be used raw in salad, though it tends to be very salty so it is more often boiled or steamed for a few minutes. Samphire is at is best in July and August. Buy bright, fresh looking plants with no signs of wilting. Wash thoroughly under cold running water before eating. Trim off any root. Buy samphire as you need it - it doesn't keep for long. If you must, tightly wrap and refrigerate for not longer than a few days.

Pop into a pan of boiling water for one minute, drain and toss in butter. Or steam over a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes and serve with melted butter.

(Though there are two types of samphire - marsh and rock - only marsh samphire is widely available. Rock samphire has a rather unpleasant smell and flavour. Occasionally you may also find jars of pickled samphire in gourmet shops.)

P.S. I  quite like snacking on it raw! Lovely.


  1. Never heard of it! Was it in your local greengrocers?

  2. It is picked from the marshes and sold in the wholesale fish markets on various parts of the coast so it tends to find its way into fishmongers rather than greengrocers. I've never seen it in the greengrocers (or the supermarket - though better supermarkets than ours may have it). It came from the fishmongers of which we have some excellent ones in Birkenhead market.


Comments are always welcome.