5-minute snow pea leaves (Pea Shoots) stir-fried with garlic is a lovely choice for a side dish. Snow pea leaves also called pea shoots are rich in vitamins and minerals, and they are also a good source of fiber.
What are snow pea tips?
Snow pea leaves or snow pea tips (snow pea shoots 豆苗 [Dòu miáo])are the tender part of snow pea plants and are a type of leaf vegetable that is typically used in Asian cuisine. The leaves are dark green and have a slightly sweet flavor. You may wonder whether it is edible, my answer is yes! And snow pea leaves are quite delicious.
We used to harvest and enjoy them at this time of the year, but I find it is available now. The most classic Chinese way of cooking Snow pea leaves is stir-frying them with garlic or cooked in soup. It is a seasonal ingredient, usually available from Nov to March. So grasp the chance to cook with it.
Why this recipe
Snow pea tips have a lovely natural sweetness. We use only garlic to improve the flavor and keep the original sweetness and nutrient components.
And this is super super easy and you can finish up within 5 minutes. It will be a good choice as a side dish.
How to prepare snow pea shoots for cooking
The tenderest part of the snow pea leaves is in the middle. If you get packaged snow pea leaves in the market, some of them are already trimmed, so you can use them directly for cooking.
If you harvest some snow peas yourself, I will recommend removing the curly tendrils and the hard stems, keeping only the middle parts.
After washing, the snow pea leaves should be completely drained before cooking. You can also use a salad spinner too. It is quite important because too much water will prevent the leaves to absorb the flavors and seasonings. The water also decrease the wok temperature too quickly, which may further cause a failure of this dish.
When purchasing snow pea leaves, avoid those with too long curly tendrils and bubbling flowers. Because in that stage, the leaves are quite old and hard to chewy. Just like sweet potato leaves, missed the best time for eating.
Heat the wok until really smoky. The most important step for all quick dark leafy stir fry.
Pour in oil and then place in the garlic. I recommend keeping the garlic in larger pieces so they will not be burnt too quickly. Wait for 3 to 5 seconds until the garlic is slightly browned so the oil is infused with the garlicky flavor. Don't wait too long because the garlic brings a bitter flavor if burnt.
Place in the snow pea leaves, and add salt. Quickly mix. Transfer out as long as the leaves are softened. The process only takes around 10 seconds.
With this method, we can keep the crunchy and crispy texture and the lovely spring green color.
Snow Pea Leaves Stir Fried with Garlic
- 2 garlic cloves , minced into larger pieces
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsps. cooking oil , you can try to use animal fat too
- 200 g snow pea leaves , trimmed
- Heat the wok until smoky.
- Add oil and fry the garlic for 2 to 5 seconds until slightly browned.
- Place snow pea leaves in and immediately add salt. Do a quick fry (around 10 seconds ) and transfer out immediately.