Snow Pea Leaves Stir-Fry
2-ingredient Chinese Snow Pea Leaves Stir-Fry that will pair beautifully with any proteins. It takes mere minutes to cook, and is a great way to incorporate a vast volume of greens into a meal without evening realizing it. And the light garlic sauce is fabulous!
Snow pea leaves in Chinese/Mandarin –
In Mandarin Chinese snow pea leaves is 豆苗 [Dòu miáo]. They are found most often in Chinese grocery stores between January and March season.
What is snow pea leaves/snow pea tips/Chinese pea shoots
Snow pea leaves also known as snow pea tips or Chinese pea shoots grow from the stalks of the plant when the pods are nearing completion. The fact that the leaves and stalks are actually edible and are absolutely delicious is still overlooked by many cooks.
The pea leaves and stems, when they are harvested early, they are not just tender but also crisp and very tasty. See a detailed guide I wrote on Chinese leafy greens.
How do you clean snow pea leaves
Give the pea leaves a nice rinse and wash in room temperature or slightly cold water. Drain them well. You can also use a salad spinner, too.
If you select them well, the pea shoot stems are just as tender as the leaves so don’t throw away the stems unless the stems feel tough or brittle to your hands or look dry. In that case, nip a small tougher bits away. Break off any flowers or curly tendrils and discard those as well. If the leafy parts look wilted or soiled, discard that, too. These delicate greens wilt quickly so it’s best to cook them fairly soon (within 1-2 days) after you purchase from the store.
How to select tender snow pea leaves
In most Chinese markets, snow pea leaves/tips are sold in bags with the tougher parts already removed so all you need is to wash the vegetables and drain well before sauteing.
The best way to select young and tender snow pea leaves is to look for bags that don’t contain too many of the curly tendrils or bubbling flowers as those are tough to chew and it’s an indication that the snow pea tips aren’t harvested while they are the most tender.
Look for bright pea green vibrant looking leaves, avoid brown or mushy parts. Also avoid stem parts that look dry and brittle as those will be tough to chew.
Snow pea leaves nutrition
According to Berkeley wellness, Snow pea leaves have good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, folate, and fiber. They can also help boost our immunity. Pea leaves pack with a lot of nutritional value and have seven times more Vitamin C then blueberries, eight times more folic acid than bean sprouts, and four times more Vitamin A than tomatoes. Pea leaves taste not only delicious but also a great way to add more dark leafy greens to our diet.
What do snow pea leaves taste like?
Snow pea leafy parts are soft and tender and the texture is similar to baby spinach. The stem parts are hollow in the middle and are crisp in texture. Snow pea leaves taste best when they are quickly sauteed with garlic.
So my friends, I highly recommend that you give Chinese snow pea leaves a try. They are nutritious, very easy to make, and taste wonderful. Print the picture card that I create for you in this post as a reference to help you shop in Chinese grocery stores. And when you are there, you might discover some familiar vegetables like Shanghainese baby Bok Choy, Chinese broccoli Gai Lan, and dry goji berries, shiitake, and dates from my pantry guide. How fun!
If you want to learn more about Asian leafy greens and want to incorporate them into your meals, please leave a comment below so I know you are interested to learn more. Thanks in advance. I appreciate it :))
Snow Pea Leaves Stir-Fry recipe
- 1 lb. snow pea leaves
- 0.6 oz. garlic cloves, , finely chopped about 3-4 large cloves
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- Salt to taste
- Rinse/wash the snow pea leaves under room temperature water. Set aside to drain well or use a salad spinner to drain. In the meantime, prepare garlic ready to use.
- Preheat a large saute skillet or wok over medium-high heat, when hot add avocado oil. Lower the heat to medium, add garlic and season with a pinch of salt. Saute until fragrant, about 5-8 seconds.
- Add snow pea leaves. Increase the heat to medium-high and gently toss the pea leaves with a tong or chopsticks. Toss often so that the entire batch can cook evenly, about 3-4 minutes total. The leafy parts should turn deeper vibrant green color yet the stem parts are still tender and crisp. Season with salt to taste.
- Off heat. Transfer the snow peas to a large serving plate. Spoon the garlic over the greens. If there’s juice in the skillet, you may leave it behind if you wish. Serve immediately, in room temperature, or slightly chilled.
The best way to select them is to look for bags that don’t contain too many of the curly tendrils or bubbling flowers as those are tough to chew and it’s an indication that the snow pea tips aren’t harvested while they are the most tender.
If you select them well, the pea shoot stems are just as tender as the leaves so don’t throw away the stems unless the stems feel tough or thick in your hands or look dry and brittle. In that case, nip a small tougher bits away. Break off any flowers or curly tendrils and discard those as well. If the leafy parts look wilted or soiled, discard that, too. If you can’t find snow pea leaves but still would like to try this recipe, use a whole bunch of spinach that contains leafy and stem parts. There’s no perfect substitution for snow pea leaves but the texture of spinach is probably the closest one.