Serves 4 as a snack
After visiting Japan and eating tempura at Japanese restaurants in London, it dawned on me that samphire must be delicious deep-fried. A bit like the famous shredded zucchini they serve at Harry's Bar. You could use a packet tempura batter mix, available from most big supermarkets or oriental grocers.
150g samphire, trimmed, washed and dried
lemon wedges to serve
vegetable oil for deep-frying
For the batter
1 small egg
60g plain flour
pinch of cayenne pepper
about 100ml ice-cold water
First make the batter. Put the egg into a bowl and whisk a little to break it up. Add the flour and cayenne pepper and gently mix, then slowly add the iced water until you have formed a smooth batter.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or heavy-bottomed pan to 160°C. This is a bit messy: a handful at a time, put the samphire into the batter. Make sure all the stems are covered, then drain the excess off, letting the batter run through your fingers.
Carefully drop the samphire into the oil a few pieces at a time, stirring the oil with a slotted spoon to break the samphire up. When crispy, drain on some kitchen paper and repeat with the rest of the samphire. Serve with lemon wedges. Reuse content