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Samphire with Lemon and Butter Sauce

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I saw some samphire on sale at my local fishmonger last week and quickly grabbed a bag full. It is a pretty rare thing to be seen on sale as samphire is seasonal and the period is fairly short - from now until August. If you are not familiar with samphire, it is a sea plant that grows wild on shorelines, in marshy shallows and on salty mudflats mostly in East Anglia. It can be eaten raw and has a salty flavour and crisp texture. Raw samphire can be really salty, so it is often boiled or steamed for a few minutes. Samphire is traditionally pickled in vinegar but nowadays it is often lightly steamed and served with fish in restaurants.


Samphire is naturally quite salty so wash well with plenty of cold water before use. It is very delicate and tender, so cook it with care and try not to overcook it. I steamed the samphire, toss it in a lemon and butter sauce and served it with pan-fried haddock.

Samphire with lemon and butter sauce, haddock

Samphire with Lemon and Butter Sauce

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Yield: serves 2

  • 150 g samphire - rinsed and trim away any damaged parts and the woody ends
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic - pressed
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Steam the samphire for about 4 mins.
  • While samphire is steaming, melt butter in a pan.
  • Add garlic and fry until fragrant.
  • Once the samphire is cooked, drain add it to the pan with butter.
  • Toss to coat. Add lemon juice and black pepper to taste.

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