Sea Beans

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Sea beans are the small, fleshy stems and branches of salt-tolerant and salty seacoast plants in the genus Salicornia, which is in the beet family. They are known under many other names, including samphire (a name they share with a seacoast plant in the carrot family), glasswort, pick-leweed, and poussepierre. Young plants are crisp and tender and can be eaten raw or briefly blanched for their fresh, briny flavor; older ones can be cooked or steamed with seafood to intensify the sea aroma.