Taratorlu Deniz Borulcesi – Marsh Samphire With Tartar Sauce

Meze dishes are the stars of Ottoman cuisine. The word meze refers to side dishes that accompany alcoholic beverages or main dishes. The other day, I saw a news report on a national TV channel saying that some freaks (yeah I am jealous, I should have thought of that before those guys) decided to take the Guinness challenge of cooking 1500 mezes in one day, original recipes from Ottoman cuisine and they succeeded. I am sure this samphire meze was one of those 1500 dishes. It’s a widely available dish in Turkey, especially at seafood restaurants. I suppose the plant is also quite common in the UK and Australia, I don’t know about the US though. In  Turkey the best deniz borulcesi, i.e. marsh samphire, is available in spring through early summer. The greener the better, as it reddens it gets saltier and coarser, you wouldn’t want that on your plate, considering the stringy bits in the cores of the stalks. Another trick is buying or picking them with the roots still intact, as this makes the process of removing the strings easier. If you ever decide to make this into a salad or meze, make sure that you season it with garlic, the two go really nice together.

Here goes the recipe for a classic Ottoman meze:


Around half a kilo of marsh samphire (glasswort, pickleweed, Salicornia europaea)

3 liters of water

A dash of lemon juice

For the tartar sauce:

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1/2 cup of crushed walnuts, shouldn’t be processed too finely

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

A pinch of salt

Salicornia europaea

Crispy green samphire stalks, looking a bit like baby asparagus

Bring water to boil, add lemon juice. Wash and drain the samphire stalks. Boil for 15-20 minutes and remove from heat. Soak the stalks into icy cold water (with some lemon juice to keep the color fresh and green) for 2 minutes, drain. Remove the strings, holding the stalk from the root, gently press down to the flesh and pull from the stringy cores one by one. Prepare the tartar sauce (tarator) by mixing all the ingredients together.

Serve the samphire topped with tartar sauce. It serves great with fish or calamari.


Here's what it looks like when you remove the string



Samphire about to meet Miss Tartar

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Deniz borulcesi is one of my favorite. I’ve been living in Canada for 25 years and I was wondering if I could find it here. I didn’t even know that it was called Marsh Samphire, I hope I can find it here…
    By the way very nice picks and recipies. I’m lucky to find you…


  2. Elif hanim yine ben,
    Ben deniz borulcesinin tarifini ingilizce olarak gorunce o kadar heyacanlandim ki, bu sitenin yazari kimdir? Ona bile bakmadan “Kanada’da nereden bulabilirim?” gibi sacma sapan bir soru sordum size:))
    Kusuruma bakmayin… Sanirim ben yine Izmir’e geldikce yemekle yetinecegim ama en azindan sayenizde Ingilizce ismini ogrenmis oldum.


    • Asuman Hanım,

      Estagfurullah, sacma soru degil tabii ki :). Izmir’de yenenin tadini hic biri tutmaz tabii ki ama umarim oralarda da bulabilirsiniz. Kanada’da tabiatta bolca bulundugunu duymustum, topragın, kumlu ve tuzlu oldugu yerlerde ozellikle bolca bulunuyor, belki sahillerde bulabilirsiniz? Bir de balikcilara sorulabilir. Bazi “fine dining” restoranlarin menulerinde bulunabiliyor ABD’de, Kanada’da bulunabilir belki.

      Ayrica nezaketiniz ve iltifatlariniz icin cok tesekkur ederim. Bir seyler uretmek icin ugrasiyorum, begeniliyorsa ne mutlu bana. Asil ben sansliyim, sizin gibi okuyucularim oldugu icin. Paylasmadikca ne kiymeti var…


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