samfer/ samfa/ sampha/ sampher

How do I cook samfer/ samfa/ sampha/ sampher? Bought it from my local fish market trader. Said it's aka sea asparagus.

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Samphire
by: Mica

Samphire - Cooked
Photo by Cowfish

Once upon a time, samphire used to be given for free to regular customers of fishmongers. These days, they are sold as an up and coming trendy veggie.

Samphire isn't a seaweed. It is a land plant that grows by the banks of creeks or rivers. So i could be half sea veggie and half land veggie :-)

I've never come across it so I haven't really tried cooking it. Found a pretty simple recipe from the Messy Vegetarian Cook!

Samphire
by: Jonathan

Sampher / Samphire can easily be eaten raw, in which case it is best heated briefly at the end of the cooking process in order to retain its crunch.

It works well as am accompaniment to fish and other seafood. I used it recently in a smoked haddock risotto.

One word of warning - as it is a salty tasting food, avoid adding salt to the rest of the dish until you have tasted the final dish with the samphire in to, otherwise it could turn out to be too salty.


Sampha
by: Anonymous

I used to eat this as a child. It was boiled then gently drained, and when cold, placed in vinegar for a couple of hours. Then, just eat off the stalk. Tastes lovely.

Beware.
by: Anonymous

Extremely salty.
Leave in a bucket of fresh water when freshly picked - the roots will draw up the fresh water and reduce its natural saline content.
Don/t do what my husband does - ie leaves it in the bucket for days before declaring it "fit to eat". If you follow his instructions you will never eat samphie (locally pronounced "samfa" ) again !

Go down to Holbeach Marsh and pick it for free.

England, early 60's
by: Don F.

Like anonymous, I had sampha when my dad was stationed at Sculthorpe AFB in England in the early 1960's and it was a thin cylindrical weed that was cooked in a pot of water and then soaked in a flavorful vinegar (not white vinegar) with some spices. After it had soaked long enough you would eat it by grasping the base of the stalk and putting your mouth arount the stalk just above your fingers which you then used to pull the core,which was fibrous, out of the plant, leaving the rest hanging there to be sucked in or otherwise gotten into your mouth. It was great and this is the very first site and mention of it that I have ever found.

Brings back memories!
by: geofreid@gmail.com

I was raised in Norfolk and can still taste Samfa yet I haven't had any in years. What made me Google it and come across your site was because I saw on Facebook that Palmer's Restaurant in Downham Market had a sign in their window today for Norfolk Samfa.

I am friends with Palmer's restaurant because the owner is my cousin's son. I live in San Antonio, Texas.

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