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Sautéed Sea Beans and Onions

Photo: Sarah Anne Ward
Active time 5 mins
Total time 15 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

Sea beans are a crunchy, briny delight. Also called salicornia or samphire, they are juicy and crisp succulents that grow along shorelines. We predict that this type of Earth-friendly, vitamin- and mineral-rich sea green will become a more important food source in the future. We first blanch the beans in boiling water to eliminate a little of their salinity. They remain still quite salty, though, so balance with less-salty offerings on your plate. You’ll find sea beans in some gourmet markets, or you can order from


  • 4 cups fresh sea beans (salicornia), about 7 ounces, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion

Nutrition Information

  • calories 242
  • fat 3.5 g
  • satfat 0.3 g
  • monofat 2.2 g
  • polyfat 1 g
  • protein 12 g
  • carbohydrate 8 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 0 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 241 mg
  • calcium 167 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sea beans; cook 30 seconds. Drain and plunge sea beans into a large bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender but still vibrant in color. Add sea beans; cook 1 minute or just until warm.
Also appeared in: April, 2017;