Can You Freeze Samphire?

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?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze samphire. But you can only freeze it for around 4 weeks. Unfortunately, samphire does not freeze well so there are some vital precautions you must take when freezing it.

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 a salty flavour, 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.

If you want to extend the life of samphire then the only option is to freeze it. Those who have had success with freezing samphire recommend the following:

  1. Wash
    Wash fresh samphire in cool water. This will remove any impurities and dirt from the samphire. 
  2. Blanch
    Blanch the samphire in boiling water for barely 60 seconds then plunge into cold water to halt the cooking process. 
  3. Dry
    Pat dry and allow to cool
  4. Wrap
    Wrap samphire tightly in parchment paper – avoid direct contact with plastics
  5. Bag Up
    Tightly seal wrapped samphire in an air-tight freezer-safe plastic bag or storage container
  6. Freeze
    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.

3 Tips for Freezing Samphire

Now you know how to freeze samphire, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing it to have the best results:

  • Avoid Adding Seasoning – Samphire is already salty and freezing can concentrate this saltiness. It’s vital that you avoid adding any seasoning to samphire before freezing it as it will become unbearably salty.
  • Blanch – You can try to lock in some of the texture and colour of samphire by blanching it before freezing it. Only do this for 30 to 60 seconds, however, as you want to avoid cooking it too much. 
  • Try to Avoid Freezing – Ultimately, samphire does not freeze well so one of the best ways to freeze it is to not bother in the first place. 

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 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.

Can You Refreeze Samphire?

Samphire does not freeze well at all and refreezing it will only make this worse. You’ll intensify the salty flavour further making it almost inedible and certainly far from enjoyable.

We would strongly recommend that you do not refreeze samphire for future use. 

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 texture which gives it a crisp crunch.

It is recommended to use frozen then defrosted samphire as a blended or liquified ingredient.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing samphire or samphire in general, then these may help:

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.

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.

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