This Autumn, the Little Learners Village is growing snow peas.
About snow peas
Snow peas are from the Fabaceae family, falling under legumes, beans, and peas. Snow peas are a vegetable native to the Mediterranean area and are commonly called ‘Chinese pea pods’ and the ‘Chinese pea’. In French, they are called ‘mangetout, meaning ‘eat it all’.
Snow peas are a flat edible pod peas with flat pod walls. They grow on a vine that grows from 0.5-2 metres in height.
Snow peas are picked ten days after the white flower is pollinated or when the pod is 7-10 cm in length and the peas inside are just starting to bulge. They should only be harvested once ripe because they taste very different from typical peas.
Snow peas are great for you! They are very high in vitamin C and a good source of vitamins A and K too. Snow peas are also high in iron and magnesium.
How to eat snow peas
Snow peas have a softer, thinner pod than most peas and taste crispier and sweeter.
Unlike other peas, snow peas have an edible fibre, which is why you can eat the pods. Although, the tough strings along the edges are typically removed before consumption.
Typically, snow peas are eaten raw or cooked in stir-fries. They can also be added to salads.
As the snow pea is commonly referred to as the ‘Chinese pea’ and ‘Chinese pea pods’, it is no surprise that snow peas are often used in Chinese cooking.
See below a recipe for Chinese beef and snow pea stir fry.
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dry sherry
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 500g beef rump steak, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 3cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 long fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 150g snow peas, trimmed, halved
- 60ml (1/4 cup) Massel chicken style liquid stock
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- Steamed white rice, to serve
- Combine the soy sauce, sherry, and cornflour in a bowl. Add the beef and toss to coat. Set aside for 20 minutes to marinate.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Add half the oil and heat until just smoking. Swirl to coat. Stir-fry half the beef for 2 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and beef, reheating wok between batches.
- Stir-fry the ginger, chilli, and garlic in the wok for 1 minute or until aromatic.
- Add the snow peas and stock. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the snow peas are bright green and tender-crisp.
- Stir in the beef, oyster sauce, and sugar.
- Serve with rice.
Would love to know how you incorporate snow peas into your stir fry… share recipes below: