Sea asparagus is a native succulent which grows to about a food in height. It has scaly jointed stems, and will flower when mature. It is a high intertidal plant, and you will find it on protected, sandy shores rather than the exposed rocky shorelines that are so common here on the West Coast. Check for it in bays. If you see a grassy shoreline abutting the beach, you might be in luck for sea asparagus.
The best picking is going to be around June and July, before the plants flower. As you are picking, try to pick clean. Don't pull it out - cut it and try to be selective as you are picking, that way you will save yourself some work when you are back home.
|Rinse sea beans - they will still be salty though.|
|Sea asparagus sauteed with garlic and beet greens as part of our coastal feast.|
|Asian pickled sea asparagus.|
So to recap, they are easy to fine, and easy to prepare. Eat them fresh, can them, pickle them, saute them with bacon, garlic, whatever! If you are not convinced that this a gourmet dish yet, then let me tell you that we found Sea Asparagus (Fresh! Healthy!) for sale at Vancouver's trendy Granville Market going for almost $6/pound!! Do you believe me now?
|Ridiculously expensive Sea Asparagus for yuppies at Granville Island.|