Sea Beans October 17 2012
Sea Beans, AKA Salicornia virginica or American Glasswort, is a type of succulent that grows in salt marches, and on beaches. They grow throughout many places in the world such as North American, Europe, South Asian and South Africa. I did not know what sea beans were until I was visiting North West Pacific. I came to a stop in the Sand Dunes in the coast of Oregon, and discovered that they grow there! They are a common item you would see on the menu or sold at the markets in the northwest Pacific.
They can be eaten raw or cooked. Common dishes with sea beans are seen in salads, pickling, and light stir frys with butter or olive oil. When I got them at the farmer's market in Seattle, I did a light stir fry with a local mushroom and olive oil. It was a super quick meal with very minimal preparation. Though sea beans are grown in the sandy areas, but usually the part we consume are the young part grown on the top so they felt pretty clean at the market. I did a quick rinse and they were ready to go in the pan.
My first impression of sea beans were that they reminded me of my Rice Cactus back home. So much details in my memory...when I put the two photos together, they have just a little resemblance. Anyhow, the thought of eating a succulent is pretty wild! I grow so many types of succulents, but never would I have thought to eat them! Hahaa