Buttered Sea Aster

Sea Aster (Aster tripolium) is one of the most flavoursome wild edible plants if you are into ‘gourmet foraging’. Often overlooked by many, it holds it’s texture very well, has an unusual, but highly more-ish taste, and to date I have yet to find anyone who found it revolting.

I like many of my wild edible plants cooked very simply, and this is about as simple as it gets.

Sea Aster Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 handfuls of Sea Aster leaves
  • Knob of butter
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 5 tablespoons of kefir or natural yoghurt
  • Cracked black pepper

Sea Aster Recipe Instructions

  1. Melt butter in frying pan, then add the crushed garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in washed and dried sea aster leaves (either sliced or whole), and fry until they are wilted and look glazed.
  3. Add the kefir or yoghurt and stir for 20 seconds.
  4. Serve immediately.

Makes: 4 side portions


  1. The difficulty with this recipe is that most sea-asters are not ‘weeds’ but part of a rapidly declined salt-marsh environment. It would be good if you could indicate that people need to check the Natural England SSSi site to make sure they are not breaking the law in taking plants. I do not even know if there are any sites where you can collect sea-asters legally. In Shoreham-by Sea where there is an extensive SSSi salt marsh, and an RSPB reserve, there is a real problem with people coming to steal the plants and disturbing the very rare birds which live there.

  2. The more you pick Sea Aster at the point where the leaf easily snaps from the stem, the more grows back. Just like Sweet Peas. So, gathering the leaves encourages growth and will provide twice as many leaves in a few weeks.

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