Generally available year round, with wild season beginning in early spring and lasting for 2-3 months.
Pacific Northwest or Mexico (Depending on Season)
Sea beans (aka Salicornia, Samphire, or Glasswort) grow on beaches and in marshes. They are the small, fleshy stems and branches of salty seacoast plants that look like tiny green coral. They have a crisp texture and a salty sea flavor with hints of asparagus.
Wrap seabeans tightly in plastic wrap and store in your refrigerator. Any beans that go limp may be revived with a brief soak in ice water.
Up to two weeks.
RECIPES & TIPS
Fresh sea beans can be consumed either cooked or raw. They add a salty accent to any food they are cooked with, so be sure to taste your dish before adding any additional salt. They can be sautéed, pickled, tempura battered and deep fried, steamed, put in soup, or even used in omelettes.
To reduce their saltiness, try briefly blanching them in boiling water prior shocking them in an ice bath for use in salads or continuing to cook them using other methods. Tossing them in fat (olive oil, mayonnaise, aioli or butter) or with acid (vinegar or lemon juice) will also help cover their salt content.