If you’ve never tried these before, you’re in for a treat! Snow pea leaves are a really tasty vegetable, sort of like a cross between spinach and peas; think spinach-like, but with a sweeter flavor (and without that iron-y residue that spinach has). The prep work takes a bit of time, but after that, these tender leaves cook in no time. The preparation method for these greens is very similar to that of my go-to easy bok choy stir-fry; however, this recipe uses more garlic (because who doesn’t love garlic?), and a bit more oil (to prevent the snow pea leaves from scorching on the bottom of the wok- which they can do pretty easily). You can use this same cooking method on a wide variety of other dark leafy greens too, such as bok choy, choy sum, Chinese broccoli, spinach, and watercress.
This recipe makes 4 servings.
- 1 pound snow pea leaves (about 450g, picked, thoroughly washed clean)
- 3-4 tablespoons neutral flavored oil (such as canola, vegetable, or peanut oil)
- 3-5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Make sure your pea leaves are thoroughly washed and picked through for tough stems.
Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the garlic and stir for a couple of seconds before adding the snow pea leaves.
Add the snow pea leaves, and stir-fry for 20 seconds, keeping the greens constantly moving. Add the salt, white pepper, and sesame oil. Continue stir-frying until the snow pea leaves are completely wilted but still vibrant green.
- Snow pea leaves or “pea tips”–in Chinese, wān dòu miáo (豌豆苗) or simply dòu miáo (豆苗))–are the tender leaves of the snow pea plant. They’re sold pretty much year-around at many Asian grocery stores, but like anything else, best when they are in season (which happens to be fall and winter in much of the U.S.). If you’re lucky enough to find them, look for greens with short stems with thick leaves (leaves with skinny, long stems attached tend to be tough).
- Most grocery stores here in the U.S. pre-wash their produce, so you may need to give the snow pea leaves a few rinses to remove any dirt (or potential pesticide residue). However, if your snow pea leaves have heavy soil or sand on them, soak them in a large bowl or other container of cold water for 1 to 2 hours, then wash thoroughly (2 to 3 times); agitate the leaves in the water with your hands, and/or use your faucet sprayer to get rid of all the dirt and sand clinging to the leaves and stems. Drain the water, and pick out any yellowed or wilted leaves, and remove any tough stems (they will snap away easily from the more tender portions of the stem). Some leaves may also have pea tendrils (which also tend to be tough), so pick those off too. Pat your greens dry (or use a salad spinner to spin the remaining water), and you’re ready to cook.
last updated August 17, 2023