Samphire is one salty and crisp vegetable that has quickly grown in popularity over the past years as they have been an ingredient used on various food programmes. Growing in specific areas across the UK, samphire is a vegetable that is high in minerals with an extra salty flavour. While you can eat it raw, it’s best cooked. But what if you have extra? Can you freeze samphire?
Samphire is one of those vegetables that has been a hidden gem in the UK for years. There are two types of samphire available. The first and most abundant is the marsh samphire with its vibrant green stalks and a crisp and salty taste and then there is the less available rock samphire which is less pleasant in both flavour and fragrance. The differences between these two types of samphire significantly affects how they are used in various dishes.
While rock Samphire is often pickled and found in gourmet shops, the readily available marsh samphire is similar to baby asparagus and when small, can be used as a fresh raw ingredient in salads. When it comes to an excess of samphire there are a few dos and do nots that others have tried – with definite results.
Use the table of contents below to navigate through this article to answer some of the most common questions people have when it comes to freezing samphire:
How to Freeze Samphire
The first step to freezing samphire is to not cook it! Since samphire can act as more of a seasoning with the salty flavour than a vegetable ingredient, it is best to take caution when planning to store it. When properly stored in the refrigerator, samphire can be kept for a few days.
However, after cooking followed by being frozen, samphire has been noted to have an increase in salty flavouring and degeneration of texture. Overall, poorly stored samphire will lead to a veggie that is too flavourful while lacking in the typical satisfying texture.
Those who have had success with freezing samphire recommend the following:
- Wash fresh samphire in cool water
- Blanch the samphire
- Pat dry and allow to cool
- Wrap samphire tightly in parchment paper – avoid direct contact with plastics
- Tightly seal wrapped samphire in an air-tight freezer-safe plastic bag or storage container
- Label and store in the freezer
While freezing is one way to keep samphire long-term, another method to keep samphire on hand is to simply pickle it. There are numerous ways to pickle samphire with many different recipes available for making the perfect dish.
How Long Can You Freeze Samphire?
Samphire is one green vegetable that has a tendency to degenerate under even the best of circumstances. When freezing your samphire, it is recommended to use it sooner than later, with a strong recommendation to only freeze your fresh samphire for a maximum of 3 to 4 weeks.
You Can Freeze Samphire for up 4 Weeks
How Do You Defrost Samphire?
When it comes to freezing and defrosting, samphire is one of the more delicate ingredients. Samphire is not only very salty but it has a good amount of water content as well which means when frozen and defrosted the water within the samphire has a high chance of being removed. This leaves you with an extra salty ingredient that may or may not be usable.
Take caution when defrosting your frozen samphire and do it slowly in the back of your refrigerator overnight. Preferably, once half-defrosted, use your samphire in your chosen recipe with full expectations of a bit more salt content than is found in fresh Samphire.
Does Samphire Freeze Well?
The short answer is no.
When it comes to comparing fresh samphire with its frozen and defrosted counterpart, the two are lacking in similarities. As mentioned above, frozen samphire has a high risk of the water content being removed leaving all of the salt content. Samphire additionally loses its cactus-like texture which gives it a crisp crunch. It is recommended to use frozen then defrosted samphire as a blended or liquified ingredient.
Other Questions about Samphire
Below are a few of the other common questions we have come across when it comes to samphire – some related to freezing and some not. If you’re still sat there with a question or two about samphire then drop a comment at the bottom of this article and we’ll aim to help out as much as possible.
What is Samphire?
There are actually two varieties of samphire but the marsh samphire variety is the one widely available in supermarkets. It has bright green, crunchy stalks that are packed full of salty flavours. It’s at its best during July and August – ultimately, the brighter the samphire the better it will be. If storing it in the fridge then it will only last a matter of days if you’re lucky.
Unfortunately, as discussed, freezing samphire isn’t really the best option either so if you buy samphire or are lucky to have foraged some then you’ll need to try and consume it as soon as possible.
How Do You Cook Samphire?
Before you cook your samphire, it’s always a good idea to give it a good wash. Sand can often get lodged between the little cracks so give it a good wash. You’ll then want to blanch the samphire just for a minute or two in water. Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking then return to the pan with a knob of butter.
DO NOT Season Your Samphire – It’s Already Salt Enough!
Can You Freeze Cooked Samphire?
In the same way, raw samphire doesn’t freeze well, the same can be said for cooked samphire. Unfortunately, the texture is completely off when frozen. We would avoid freezing cooked samphire. In fact, cooked samphire freezes worse than its raw counterpart.