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Sea Asparagus Recipe – Quick and easy way to prepare Sea Asparagus (Salicornia), an edible aquatic succulent, rich in folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and iron. Serve in salads, sandwiches soups, pasta or just on its own, as a side dish for meat, fish and seafood.

Sea Asparagus in a speckled bowl

What are sea asparagus?

Sea asparagus is found along shorelines, salt marshes, and tidal flats without strong wave action. It is a common coastal species, and occurs all along the west coast of North America from southeastern Alaska to Mexico. It is also found along the eastern coast of North America and the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: Centralcoastbiodiversity).

They may look like the “baby” version of regular asparagus, with the same bright green color and crunchy texture, but they are different. Called a “superfood” by some nutrition scientists, because they are low in calories and rich in some vitamins and iron.

Known as “Sea beans, Samphire or Salicornia”, these are sea vegetables, that can be cooked as any other vegetable. They are salty, with a tint of “ocean flavor” and when cooked they taste similar to green beans.

Sea Asparagus in a plastic container

How to cook sea asparagus?

Sea asparagus are usually blanched or sautéed, in order to give them a quick “cook”, but preserve them bright green and crunchy.

Recipe Tips:

  • Sea asparagus can last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, once harvested. They don’t go bad, if stored properly, but may darken in color with time. I recommend cooking them as quickly as possible, for best results.
  • This “vegetable” is already salty, so keep this in mind. Don’t use too much salt, when cooking. I suggest adding salt at the and of the cooking process, a little bit at a time, to make sure the raste is perfect.

Toppings – optional. Here are some ideas:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chopped nuts
  • Seeds (sesame, sunflower)
  • Bacon bits
  • Cheese

Sea asparagus in fine mesh strainer

How to store cooked sea asparagus?

There are still crunchy, after a quick fry, so you can store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Drying sea asparagus: I’ve seen people drying these to preserve and rehydrate for future uses. The method usually involves blanching the asparagus (boiling for 1 minute, then placing in a bowl with ice water), then dry very well. Use a dehydrator or dry at room temperature. Store in an air tight container for up to 2 months. To rehydrate: place in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse. 

Can you freeze sea asparagus? 

The answer is yes, you can. You still have to blanch them, then dry and place in freezer bags. Keep un the freezer for up to 2 months.

Sea asparagus with lemon slices in a cast iron pan

Nutritional benefits:

You can read more about this vegetable on Wikipedia.

Salicornia is low in calories ( 133 Calories per 100 grams), 93 mg of sodium, 3 grams of carbs and 13 grams of protein. It is rich in Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron.

Growing Sea Asparagus

These grow around the shorelines, where no strong waves are present. But the good news is that they can be grown at home – either by your window in containers or in the field. They need full sunlight and sandy soil to grow. Another requirement is salty water. They can be watered with saline solution for best results. Don’t use table salt, just use sea salt and water to make the saline solution.

Greenhouse growing is also a great option, since it will preserve them from weather fluctuations.

What to serve with?

These taste amazing on their own, just with a drizzle of lemon or lime juice. You can serve them with eggs, use in frittatas, add to sandwiches, wraps or salads. Sauteed Salicornia makes a great side dish for meat, fish and seafood. Serve with Baked Halibut, Grilled Filet Mignon of Air Fryer Chicken Breast.

More recipes with sea asparagus:

Sea asparagus in a cast iron pan

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Sea Asparagus in a speckled bowl
5 from 1 vote

Sea Asparagus

Quick and easy way to prepare Sea Asparagus (Salicornia), an edible aquatic succulent, rich in folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin A, calcium and iron.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb 250 grams Salicornia (Sea Asparagus/Sea Beans/Samphire Greens)
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 2 pinches salt, or more to taste
  • Optional:
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes

Instructions 

  • Wash and pat dry asparagus. Trim the ends (I cut about 2 centimeters at the end).
  • Heat oil and butter in a cast iron pan of wok.
  • Add the greens.
  • Cook at medium-high heat for 2 minutes, turning a few times
  • Transfer to a plate.
Drizzle with lemon juice and add toppings of your choice.
  • Serve.
  • Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 140kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 450mg, Potassium: 53mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 477IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookinglsl or tag #cookinglsl!

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Hi! I'm Mira.

I share simple, mostly low-carb and Keto recipes, that don't take a lot of time to make and use mostly seasonal, easy to find ingredients. I'm a supporter of healthy eating, but you'll also find some indulgent treats too.

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