One of my loveliest memories from my youth is of my parents walking on the coast of our beloved Hampshire, picking samphires from the sea.

“Yukky,” I used to grimace.

“In the war, we used to eat this, and the seaweed called carrageen moss, for the minerals. It saved our health, during the food rationing years,” my mum would say again and again.

On impulse, I decided to forage for samphires but chanced upon lovely beds of glasswort instead, so emerald in the summer sun in Bosham, again, one of the favourite places of my childhood.



Glassworts are also known as sea beans, and you could eat them raw. But the taste is more ‘acceptable’ to the palate not used to the strong taste.


Cooking instructions:

First of all, make sure that there is no pollution in the area where the glasswort grows. Anti-foul from boats are poisonous!

Boil for 10 minutes in a large pan of water (this will remove some of the saltiness.

Blanch immediately in cold water to keep its crispness.

Toss in olive oil and toasted sesame oil.

Top with finely grated ginger and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with avocado to soften the taste.

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Note: what I love is the fact that this tastes like the seaweed dish I once fell in love with in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo….and to think, I can pick it in my backyard, literally!

A Walk Through New Forest, Hampshire

When the children were young, we often went into The Forest to forage and to sketch. Those are my most precious memories of being a mother, and I would gladly have more children just to enjoy the pleasure of teaching them about The Forest again. Today was a blessed day, a trip down memory lane, as I went into The Forest with my parents and my niece.

Warning: do not use this page as reference when foraging for edible mushrooms.  Fungi are terribly complicated because species from the same family could look vastly different, depending on its stage in its lifecycle. Always take advice from an expert. Also, please do excuse my spelling – I am an amateur.

Amanita fulvaf1


Boletus edulisf2

Amanita muscariaf3

Amanita pantherinaf4


Russula emeticaf9

Amanita citrinaf10

Cantharellus cibarius (chantrelles)f12

Sclerotinia f16

Stereum ostreaf22



Fistulina hepatica (beef steak)f29


Hydnum repandum (hedgehog)f36

Laccaria laccataf40

Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom)f42

Outsmaniella nucidaf43Photographs are the copyright of Kate Rhiannon Jones & Jacqueline Koay 2014

Article on the dangers of eating foraged mushrooms: