What is samphire?

Though there are two types of samphire – marsh and rock – only marsh samphire is widely available. 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 is more often boiled or steamed for a few minutes. Rock samphire has a rather unpleasant smell and flavour. Occasionally you may also find jars of pickled samphire in gourmet shops.

How to prepare samphire

Wash thoroughly under cold running water before eating.

How to cook samphire

Steam over a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes and serve with melted butter. For more tips, techniques and our top samphire recipes, check out our guide on how to cook samphire.

How to store samphire

Buy samphire as you need it – it doesn't keep for long. If you must, tightly wrap and refrigerate for no longer than a few days.

When is samphire in season?

Samphire is at its best in July and August.

Choose the best samphire

Buy bright, fresh-looking stalks with no signs of wilting.

Alternatives to samphire

Try asparagus.