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How to Cook Samphire Seaweed and Recipes

Updated on January 14, 2017
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon has been cooking since childhood. He loves above all to take fresh ingredients and combine them in tasty and hopefully original ways.

Cod and balsamic chutney on samphire bed with potato crowns is a recipe featured slightly further down this page
Cod and balsamic chutney on samphire bed with potato crowns is a recipe featured slightly further down this page

The eating of seaweed for many people is associated solely with Japanese cuisine. There are many in the West who will have enjoyed the delights of sushi, perhaps at Japanese restaurants in their own country or even maybe by having visited Japan itself, where seaweed is generally used as a wrapping agent for the rice, wasabi and fish. The truth is that edible, delicious and nutritious seaweed of countless different types is available around the world and should perhaps simply be considered the vegetables of the sea as opposed to the land. The variety used in these recipes is marsh samphire.

Samphire seaweed
Samphire seaweed

Warning! Collecting samphire and other seaweeds yourself is of course often possible if you live near to the coast but this should only be undertaken if you have the sufficient knowledge to know precisely what you are picking (there are some varieties which are not suitable for eating) and know the tidal patterns of the area in which you are harvesting and are aware of potential pollution issues. No risks of any type should be taken at any time and for the vast majority of people, buying samphire and other seaweeds from supermarkets or grocery stores is the only option which should be considered.

Washing samphire
Washing samphire

Regardless from where you obtain samphire, it should always be washed very thoroughly under running water before it is cooked. It should also be noted that samphire is naturally very salty so no additional salt is required when it is being cooked. It can be eaten raw but may prove a little bit too salty for many tastes.

Smoked Salmon, Samphire and Cream Cheese on Oatcakes

Cream cheese is spread on Scottish oatcakes before being topped with smoked salmon and samphire
Cream cheese is spread on Scottish oatcakes before being topped with smoked salmon and samphire

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook Time: 2 min

Ready in: 7 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons samphire
  • 3 oatcakes or crackers
  • 1 tablespoon garlic and herb cream cheese
  • 3 slices cold smoked salmon

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Samphire is simmered in waterSamphire is drained and allowed to cool slightlyCream cheese and oatcakesCream cheese is spread on oatcakesSmoked salmon is laid on oatcakesSamphire is seasoned with black pepper and lemon juice
Samphire is simmered in water
Samphire is simmered in water
Samphire is drained and allowed to cool slightly
Samphire is drained and allowed to cool slightly
Cream cheese and oatcakes
Cream cheese and oatcakes
Cream cheese is spread on oatcakes
Cream cheese is spread on oatcakes
Smoked salmon is laid on oatcakes
Smoked salmon is laid on oatcakes
Samphire is seasoned with black pepper and lemon juice
Samphire is seasoned with black pepper and lemon juice
  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and carefully add the samphire. Simmer for two minutes before draining through a colander or sieve. Allow to cool for a few minutes (it will cool very quickly).
  2. Divide the cream cheese evenly between the three oatcakes and crackers and spread out with a knife.
  3. Lay a slice of salmon on each cheese spread oatcake and top with the cooled samphire to serve.

Samphire and Cream Cheese on Toast

Cream cheese is spread on toast and topped with tomatoes, red onion and samphire
Cream cheese is spread on toast and topped with tomatoes, red onion and samphire

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 5 min

Ready in: 10 min

Yields: 1 serving

Instructions

  • 2 tablespoons samphire
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 6 baby plum tomatoes
  • 2 or 3 thin slices from a peeled and halved red onion

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cream cheese is spread on toastTomatoes and red onion are scattered over cream cheese
Cream cheese is spread on toast
Cream cheese is spread on toast
Tomatoes and red onion are scattered over cream cheese
Tomatoes and red onion are scattered over cream cheese
  1. As in the previous recipe, simmer the samphire in water for a couple of minutes before draining and setting aside to cool.
  2. Make the toast and spread one side of each slice with the cream cheese.
  3. Wash the baby plum tomatoes and cut them in half along their length. Divide the red onion slivers and tomato halves evenly between each slice of toast before topping with the samphire.

Samphire, Tomato and Red Onion Spanish Tortilla

Samphire is made to garnish and season a tomato and red onion tortilla
Samphire is made to garnish and season a tomato and red onion tortilla

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 5 min

Ready in: 15 min

Yields: 1 ten inch tortilla

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of samphire
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons grated or shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Blanched samphire is drained and left to cool slightlyEggs are broken in to a bowl and seasonedEggs are beaten with a forkTomatoes and red onion are lightly sauteed in oilBeaten eggs are poured in to panSamphire seaweed is scattered in to panCheese is scattered over tortillaFinal pepper seasoning is scattered over tortillaCutting in to samphire, tomato and red onion tortilla
Blanched samphire is drained and left to cool slightly
Blanched samphire is drained and left to cool slightly
Eggs are broken in to a bowl and seasoned
Eggs are broken in to a bowl and seasoned
Eggs are beaten with a fork
Eggs are beaten with a fork
Tomatoes and red onion are lightly sauteed in oil
Tomatoes and red onion are lightly sauteed in oil
Beaten eggs are poured in to pan
Beaten eggs are poured in to pan
Samphire seaweed is scattered in to pan
Samphire seaweed is scattered in to pan
Cheese is scattered over tortilla
Cheese is scattered over tortilla
Final pepper seasoning is scattered over tortilla
Final pepper seasoning is scattered over tortilla
Cutting in to samphire, tomato and red onion tortilla
Cutting in to samphire, tomato and red onion tortilla
  1. Simmer the samphire in water for two minutes, drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Break the three eggs in to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat with a balloon whisk or fork just enough to combine.
  3. Seed and roughly chop the tomatoes. Roughly chop the red onion quarter.
  4. Pour the olive oil in to a ten inch, non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the tomato and onion and saute for a couple of minutes.
  5. Pour the egg in to the pan, ensuring it is evenly distributed. Scatter with the samphire. Put your kitchen grill (broiler) on to preheat to a high setting.
  6. After a few minutes, you should see the egg is set almost all the way to the top. At this stage, place the pan under the grill/broiler to finish setting the remaining liquid.
  7. Scatter the cheese over the tortilla and place the pan back under the heat source until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Cod on Samphire with Balsamic Chutney and Potato Crowns

Cod is served on samphire bed with balsamic chutney and deep fried potato crowns
Cod is served on samphire bed with balsamic chutney and deep fried potato crowns

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 1 hour 45 min

Yields: 1 serving


Ingredients

  • 3 baby potatoes (about two inches long by one inch wide)
  • Salt
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 6 or 7 baby plum tomatoes
  • Generous pinch dried basil
  • Generous pinch dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • 6 ounce cod fillet, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all purpose flour)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons samphire
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Boiled potatoes are drained and cooledEnds are trimmed from cooled potatoesPotatoes are halved in crown shapesPotato crowns are deep fried in oilPotato crowns are drained on kitchen paper and left to coolOnce fried potato crowns are returned to the fridgeRed onion, tomatoes and herbs for chutneyAssembled chutney ingredientsFresh cod filletChutney is simmered to reduceCod is patted in seasoned flourCod is laid skin side down in frying panCod completes cooking on its flesh sideSamphire is arranged as a bed for codTwice fried potato crowns are drained briefly on kitchen paperCod fillet is laid on samphirePotato crowns are arranged either side of codTucking in to cod and samphire with balsamic chutney
Boiled potatoes are drained and cooled
Boiled potatoes are drained and cooled
Ends are trimmed from cooled potatoes
Ends are trimmed from cooled potatoes
Potatoes are halved in crown shapes
Potatoes are halved in crown shapes
Potato crowns are deep fried in oil
Potato crowns are deep fried in oil
Potato crowns are drained on kitchen paper and left to cool
Potato crowns are drained on kitchen paper and left to cool
Once fried potato crowns are returned to the fridge
Once fried potato crowns are returned to the fridge
Red onion, tomatoes and herbs for chutney
Red onion, tomatoes and herbs for chutney
Assembled chutney ingredients
Assembled chutney ingredients
Fresh cod fillet
Fresh cod fillet
Chutney is simmered to reduce
Chutney is simmered to reduce
Cod is patted in seasoned flour
Cod is patted in seasoned flour
Cod is laid skin side down in frying pan
Cod is laid skin side down in frying pan
Cod completes cooking on its flesh side
Cod completes cooking on its flesh side
Samphire is arranged as a bed for cod
Samphire is arranged as a bed for cod
Twice fried potato crowns are drained briefly on kitchen paper
Twice fried potato crowns are drained briefly on kitchen paper
Cod fillet is laid on samphire
Cod fillet is laid on samphire
Potato crowns are arranged either side of cod
Potato crowns are arranged either side of cod
Tucking in to cod and samphire with balsamic chutney
Tucking in to cod and samphire with balsamic chutney
  1. Wash the potatoes and add them to a pot of cold water. Season with salt and bring the water to a simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes until the potatoes are just cooked. Drain and leave to cool enough that they can be comfortably handled.
  2. Take a thin slice off each end of each potato, just enough to create a flat surface on which each potato crown will be able to sit on the serving plate. Peel all the skin from the potatoes and discard.
  3. Take a very sharp, thin bladed knife and make slits at alternate forty-five degree angles round the central circumference of each potato, going in to the centre only and no further with each cut. You should then be able to gently pull the two halves of each potato apart. Sit the potato halves in a suitable dish and refrigerate for a minimum half hour.
  4. Take the chilled potato crowns from the fridge and deep fry in hot oil for around three minutes until they are just starting to take on some colour. Drain on kitchen paper, allow to cool and return to the fridge for a further half hour.
  5. Finely slice the peeled onion quarter. Wash the plum tomatoes and cut them in half along their length. Pour the olive oil in to a saucepan and put on to a gentle heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, basil, oregano and balsamic vinegar, as well as a little salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes and onion are breaking down in to a sauce.
  6. When the sauce is starting to come together, pour some vegetable oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium to high heat. Scatter the flour on a plate and season well with salt and pepper. Pat the cod fillet on its skin side only in the flour and season the flesh side with more salt and pepper. Lay the fillet skin side down in the hot pan.
  7. Deep fry the potato crowns for a second time until crisp and golden - around four to five minutes.
  8. After a few minutes, you should see the cod is cooked almost all the way through. Turn the heat under the pan down to its minimum setting and turn the fillet on to its flesh side to complete cooking for a final minute.
  9. Add the samphire to simmering water for two minutes and drain well. Return to the pot, add a squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper. Toss.
  10. Lift the potato crowns to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain.
  11. Arrange the samphire in the centre of your serving plate as a bed for the cod. Lift the cod on top and carefully peel away the crisped up skin. Spoon the balsamic sauce on top and arrange the potato crowns three on either side to serve.

Samphire, King Prawn and Pineapple Salad with Bruschetta

Really simple samphire, king prawn, pineapple and red onion salad with bruschetta
Really simple samphire, king prawn, pineapple and red onion salad with bruschetta

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 5 min

Ready in: 10 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 pineapple ring, canned in own juice
  • 2 or 3 thin slices from peeled and halved red onion
  • 6 to 8 cooked and peeled king prawns
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple canning juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon samphire
  • 1 thick slice from artisan wholemeal bread loaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Red onion, pineapple and king prawnsGround ginger is added to pineapple juicePrepared red onion and pineapple with king prawnsSamphire is added to salad tossing bowlSamphire, king prawn and pineapple salad is ready for platingWheat, spelt and rye breadCrushed garlic clove is rubbed over toasted breadKing prawn, samphire and pineapple salad is platedBruschetta is plated alongside samphire salad
Red onion, pineapple and king prawns
Red onion, pineapple and king prawns
Ground ginger is added to pineapple juice
Ground ginger is added to pineapple juice
Prepared red onion and pineapple with king prawns
Prepared red onion and pineapple with king prawns
Samphire is added to salad tossing bowl
Samphire is added to salad tossing bowl
Samphire, king prawn and pineapple salad is ready for plating
Samphire, king prawn and pineapple salad is ready for plating
Wheat, spelt and rye bread
Wheat, spelt and rye bread
Crushed garlic clove is rubbed over toasted bread
Crushed garlic clove is rubbed over toasted bread
King prawn, samphire and pineapple salad is plated
King prawn, samphire and pineapple salad is plated
Bruschetta is plated alongside samphire salad
Bruschetta is plated alongside samphire salad
  1. Add the samphire to a pot of boiling water. Simmer for two minutes, drain and leave for a few minutes to cool.
  2. Measure out the pineapple juice in to a large bowl and add the ground ginger. Stir well.
  3. Roughly chop the pineapple ring in to about eight to ten pieces and separate the red onion slices in to strands. Add to the bowl along with the king prawns and samphire and toss or gently stir fold.
  4. Toast the slice of bread until golden on both sides. Peel the garlic clove, roughly crush and rub over the top of the hot toast. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Plate the salad with a slotted spoon, half the bruschetta and arrange alongside.

Cod on Roasted Vegetables with Sauteed Samphire

Cod fillet on mixed roasted vegetables with samphire sauteed with garlic
Cod fillet on mixed roasted vegetables with samphire sauteed with garlic

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 35 min

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce tray of oven ready mixed roasting vegetables*
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 small nests of tagliatelle pasta
  • 6 ounce cod fillet, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 tablespoon samphire
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Lemon wedge to garnish

*This tray of vegetables was bought prepared from the supermarket and included red bell pepper, courgette/zucchini, red onion and cherry tomatoes. You could of course instead buy your chosen vegetables separately and prepare them yourself.

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Vegetables for roastingTagliatelle is added to boiling waterTagliatelle is drainedRoasted vegetables removed from ovenTagliatelle is added to tray of vegetablesSamphire is sauteed in olive oil with garlic and pepperVegetables and tagliatelle are added to serving plateCod fillet is laid on vegetable tagliatelleSkin is peeled from cod filletSamphire is scattered over cod and vegetable pasta
Vegetables for roasting
Vegetables for roasting
Tagliatelle is added to boiling water
Tagliatelle is added to boiling water
Tagliatelle is drained
Tagliatelle is drained
Roasted vegetables removed from oven
Roasted vegetables removed from oven
Tagliatelle is added to tray of vegetables
Tagliatelle is added to tray of vegetables
Samphire is sauteed in olive oil with garlic and pepper
Samphire is sauteed in olive oil with garlic and pepper
Vegetables and tagliatelle are added to serving plate
Vegetables and tagliatelle are added to serving plate
Cod fillet is laid on vegetable tagliatelle
Cod fillet is laid on vegetable tagliatelle
Skin is peeled from cod fillet
Skin is peeled from cod fillet
Samphire is scattered over cod and vegetable pasta
Samphire is scattered over cod and vegetable pasta
  1. Start your oven preheating to 450F/220C/Gas Mark 8. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with the dried herbs, salt and pepper. Carefully stir with a wooden spoon to ensure even coating and place on a roasting tray and in to the heated oven for thirty minutes, stirring half way through.
  2. When the vegetables have been stirred and returned to the oven, add the tagliatelle to a large pot of boiling salted water and simmer for ten minutes before draining through a colander.
  3. The cod fillet is cooked exactly the same as in the last recipe but one by patting the skin side in seasoned flour and frying in a little oil.
  4. While the pasta is draining, add a little olive oil to a small frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the washed samphire, season with a little black pepper and lemon juice and grate in the peeled garlic clove. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  5. When the vegetables come out of the oven, add the pasta to the tray and lift and fold it through to combine. Spoon on to a serving plate.
  6. Lay the cod fillet skin side up on top of the vegetable pasta and carefully pull away the skin before scattering over the sauteed samphire. Garnish with the lemon wedge to serve.

© 2017 Gordon Hamilton

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