A paste made from roasted and blended sesame seeds, tahini is a key ingredient in houmous. It can be used on its own as a dip or in a dressing for salads or wraps. Most large supermarkets stock it.
Photo John Carey
Marsh samphire has always been a bit of a cheffy ingredient but it’s becoming more widely available now. Look for it in fishmongers, farmers’ markets and larger supermarkets. Its crisp asparagus-like texture and salty flavour make it a natural partner for fish and seafood but it pairs well with other recipes where a salty hit is called for.
Made from fermented soya beans and other flavourings, miso comes in many colours and strengths. Generally speaking, the lighter the miso, the milder it is. Use it in soups, dressings and glazes.
Miso broth with rice noodles and shiitake
Heat a small pan with 3 tbsp miso paste and 600ml boiling water and stir until dissolved. Drop in 50g thin rice noodles and 6 sliced shiitake mushrooms. Simmer gently until the noodles are soft. Divide between bowls and top with shredded spring onions. Season with soy and sesame oil.
Sesame miso dressing
Put 1 tbsp each of miso paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce in a bowl. Whisk until smooth then stir in 2 tsp grated ginger. Use to dress noodles or asparagus.
Miso glazed chicken
Mix 1 tbsp miso paste, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp caster sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp rice vinegar. Toss with 4 skinless chicken thigh fillets then leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat the grill to medium. Grill the chicken, turning regularly, until sticky, glazed and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with a cucumber salad dressed with a little more rice vinegar.