Recipe: A taste of the sea
- Credit: Archant
Smoked and fresh salmon with samphire and herb butter
It’s got an unmistakable salty taste all of its own and it’s a true East Anglian delicacy.
Samphire can be found in the tidal zone on muddy, sandy flats around Suffolk but is a real speciality of the north Norfolk coast.
This is marsh samphire, not to be confused with rock samphire that grows on cliffs. It looks like a minature cactus, but without the spines, and has a satisfying crunch when you bite into it. It is a unique wild plant that tastes of the sea.
Rock samphire is much harder to get to, requiring a huge amount of risk-taking as it is usually in high, out-of-the-way places. Rock Samphire was even mentioned in Shakespeare’s King Lear: “Half-way down hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!” Needless to say, most samphire is of the marsh variety.
You may also want to watch:
As a vegetable it is often eaten with fish but can be eaten on its own too. Try it with melted butter or the old Norfolk way - with vinegar and black pepper. It doesn’t need much cooking - just a few minutes in boiling water - but there are three things to remember when preparing samphire: rinse it, rinse it, rinse it! This gets rid of any grit and helps reduce its saltiness. Well, if you spent your life being washed by the tide you’d be a bit salty too!
Samphire is also known as glasswort, sea beans and baby asparagus. Whatever you do, don’t over-cook it.
- 1 How Suffolk voted in the county council elections 2021
- 2 Tories retain Suffolk County Council control - but Greens make huge gains
- 3 Poorly rated Chick King takeaway goes into liquidation
- 4 When Ipswich boss Cook will inform players of his contract decisions
- 5 A weekend of potential departures as Town finish up their disappointing season
- 6 Election 2021: Ipswich Borough Council results
- 7 Why Cook has given Norwood Ipswich Town's captain's armband
- 8 'Masterpiece' modernist home with panoramic sea views for sale for £850,000
- 9 Police identify elderly man after incident involving young girl in village
- 10 Campervan ban lifted in 12 car parks by the coast
If you prefer, use farmed salmon, but it has none of the flavour of wild. The conservation of wild salmon stock is important, so it really needs to be eaten rarely and only as a treat.