One of my favorite things about farmers markets is getting to talk with different people and hear what their favorite recipes are. Thank you to the people last week that explained this Chinese dish to me- and I hope the recipe and Chinese name I found on google are representative of the traditional dish. If you have a favorite family recipe that differs from this, please send it my way!
Stir Fried Pea Shoots! The aforementioned google search provided a variety of different recipes, with a few different ingredients. This recipe is a basic, fresh version of the recipe with all the typical ingredients but if you are looking for something a little spicier etc read through to the notes at the bottom for some interesting additions.
- 3-5 cloves of garlic chopped fine
- 1 T ginger grated or chopped fine
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 1 lb pea shoots
- 1/2 t sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 T Chinese rice vinegar/rice wine/sherry
- 1 T sesame oil
- In a large frying pan or wok saute garlic, ginger and vegetable oil over medium heat until fragrant. When the garlic starts turning colour, move on to the next step. (2-3 mins)
- Crank up the heat to high and add pea shoots in waves. They cook down a lot so keep filling the pan until you’ve used up your supply, constantly turning/flipping with tongs so they cook evenly. Work to mix the garlic and ginger into the peas so they don’t stay at the bottom of the pile and burn.
- Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Stir again. Once the pea shoots are all an even dark green colour then they are done. You want them a little crunchy and fresh tasting still so don’t overcook them!
- Remove from heat. Add sesame oil, rice wine/vinegar. Stir and serve. 1 lb feeds 4-6 people as a side dish.
- The biggest mistake of this recipe is overcooking the shoots- they cook fast since they are delicate. Have everything close at hand before you put the pea shoots in!
- Optional other ingredients:
- if you like spicy food add a hot pepper of your choice in with the garlic and oil in step 1. You can control the heat of the dish with how much you break up the pepper. For a mild heat, put the pepper in whole. For a little more, crush the pepper with the side of your knife. If you like it really hot chop the pepper into big pieces (but the whole point of the dish is to highlight the delicate pea shoots so I wouldn’t recommend getting this carried away or you will entirely mask their flavour.)
- Garnish with white a black sesame seeds or even crushed peanuts for a little more crunch.
- If you like a stronger sauce sub the salt and wine/vinegar for 1.5 t soya sauce and 2 T oyster sauce