How To Cook Samp

Samp is a traditional South African dish that has been enjoyed for generations. Made from dried maize kernels, samp is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in a variety of ways. In this article, we will explore the steps to cooking samp to perfection, along with some mouth-watering recipes to try. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to savor the rich flavors of this beloved South African staple!

What You’ll Need

To cook samp, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried samp
  • Water for soaking
  • Water for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Optional: additional seasonings such as herbs, spices, or stock cubes

Step 1: Soaking the Samp

Before cooking samp, it is important to soak the dried maize kernels. This helps to soften them and reduces the cooking time. Follow these steps to soak your samp:

  1. Rinse the dried samp under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Place the samp in a large bowl and cover it with water, ensuring that there is enough water to fully submerge the samp.
  3. Allow the samp to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. This will ensure that the kernels are sufficiently softened.

Step 2: Cooking the Samp

Once the samp has been soaked, it is ready to be cooked. Follow these steps for perfectly cooked samp:

  1. Drain the soaked samp and rinse it again under cold water.
  2. Transfer the samp to a large pot and add enough water to cover the kernels.
  3. Add salt to the pot and any additional seasonings or flavorings you desire.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid.
  6. Allow the samp to simmer for approximately 2 to 3 hours, or until the kernels are soft and tender.
  7. Stir the samp occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
How To Cook Samp

Recipe Ideas

Now that you know how to cook samp, it’s time to explore some delicious recipes:

1. Samp and Beans


  • 1 cup of cooked samp
  • 1 cup of cooked red kidney beans
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften.
  4. Stir in the curry powder and paprika, and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add the cooked samp and red kidney beans to the skillet.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  7. Cover the skillet and let the mixture simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy the hearty flavors of samp and beans.

2. Spicy Samp Salad


  • 1 cup of cooked samp
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked samp, diced red and green bell peppers, diced cucumber, and thinly sliced red onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the fresh lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the samp mixture and toss well to coat all the ingredients.
  4. Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.
  5. Serve the spicy samp salad as a refreshing side dish or a light meal on its own.

In Conclusion

Samp is a truly versatile ingredient that can be cooked in various ways to suit your taste buds. Whether you prefer it as a warm, comforting stew or as a chilled, zesty salad, samp is sure to satisfy your cravings for authentic South African flavors. So, follow the steps outlined above, try out these recipes, and enjoy the taste of traditional South African cuisine in the comfort of your own home!