Can You Freeze Samphire?
Samphire is a type of edible seaweed found in the shallows of coastal areas. It has a salty, slightly bitter taste and is often used as a seasoning or garnish. You can freeze samphire to preserve it for later use.
Samphire is used in the medical industry for its healing properties. It has high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants in it. It belongs to the family Crithmum maritimum and has recently gained popularity across European nations.
If there is one herb that is good for your gut, heart, intestines, and immune system, then it’s going to be Samphire! This fresh herb aids in treating insomnia and helps you to regulate your sleep cycle.
Moreover, it can help in weight loss and reduce signs of inflammation, if any. It becomes vital to freeze samphire for later use as it goes bad quickly. So keep reading to know more on this topic.
How Can You Freeze Samphire Efficaciously?
What if I tell you that the answer to your question is a bit unsatisfying? Yes, you freeze samphire but for a very short span. Check out these two methods to freeze samphire.
Freeze Samphire Directly
Samphire is generally used for garnishings and seasonings. Thus, it is best to avoid freezing cooked samphire. We would strongly deny the idea of freezing cooked samphire as it directly leads to the destruction of its texture.
You can freeze samphire directly using this technique for a couple of weeks. First, start by washing samphire in cold water. Then, shift it to another bowl for blanching. Blanch samphire for around 60 seconds in boiling water. Do not blanch for more than sixty seconds.
Immediately transfer the blanched greens to cold water to end the cooking process. Then, remove the samphire from cold water and pat it dry. Tightly wrap it in baking paper or parchment paper for freezing. If you directly drop them in airtight bags then there are chances of freezer burn.
Now, shift these wrapped samphires into clean freezer-safe bags or containers and freeze them.
Freeze Samphire Pickles
If you ask us for the best way to store samphire for months, then it is going to be this one! It has got two benefits- firstly, you can store samphire for longer periods, and secondly, you get to relish a seaside taste any time of the year!
Preparing samphire pickles is quite an easy recipe. You don’t need any fancy ingredients for this recipe, simple stuff across your kitchen would suffice. To prepare a samphire pickle, you will need- fresh samphire, bay leaf, ginger, garlic, cider vinegar or wine vinegar, sugar, star anise, peppercorns, and coriander seeds.
First of all, take clean and washed samphire and place it in a jar. Add a bay leaf and chopped ginger and garlic to this jar. Close the lid of the jar and set it aside. Now in another pan, add vinegar, sugar, and other spices. Allow this liquid to simmer till the sugar dissolves completely.
Now, transfer this liquid to the jar containing samphire and close the lid tightly. Keep this pickle in a dark place for a month so that flavors absorb well. Then, you can use these pickles for 6-8 months and once you open the lid you can store the pickle in the freezer. Thus, this is a lengthy yet effective way to freeze samphire.
Tips for Freezing
Some quick and additional tips for freezing samphire can always save your day from any trouble storing it!
1. As stated earlier, let me rephrase that again. Do not freeze cooked samphire! It is a strict no-no to freeze samphire after cooking. It is because this herb is essentially salty, given its seaside origin. And freezing it after cooking will only add up to the salty taste. So if you don’t want an extra salty meal, do not freeze cooked samphire.
2. If you are freezing samphire directly then do not forget to blanch it for a minute. It helps to stop the enzymatic process of the herb so that you can freeze it for a long time.
3. Last but not least, avoid freezing samphire if possible. Unless, you have a huge amount that you don’t want to waste, avoid freezing it at all costs.
How long should you Freeze Samphire?
Let’s get to the facts. If you are freezing samphire by merely wrapping them in kitchen napkins then they will remain fresh for 4 days. However, if you freeze them using the blanching method discusses above then they will remain in a better state for three to four weeks.
On the contrary, if you prepare a samphire pickle then you can store it in the fridge for six to eight months. Therefore, pick a method that suits you the best and follow the guidelines accordingly. One tip to remember while freezing samphire is that you must remove any fragments that aren’t fresh. If you freeze the dull ones along with the fresh ones then it will affect the entire batch.
Can you defrost or refreeze samphire?
If you are thinking of refreezing samphire, then drop your idea right there as it won’t work. Freezing samphire is itself a cumbersome process and refreezing makes it worse. This salty herb will become saltier if you refreeze it.
However, on the other hand, it is vital to thaw samphire in the fridge before using it. Take the required amount from the sealed bag and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. One thing that you might notice is that samphire will leave some water on thawing. You can discard this water while cooking.
By the end of this article, you now know how to freeze samphire properly for using it across a month. However, it is advisable to use fresh ones every time so that you don’t get an intense salty flavor in your dishes.