Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stir-Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic for Weekend Herb Blogging #292

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy" (Hamlet, by William Shakespeare)

And so it seems the Bard's words ring true with each trip I take to the ethnic markets in Albany.

Finding a new vegetable to cook up is so much fun. While at the vast arboretum that is the produce section at Albany's Asian Supermarket, I found a bag of bright green pea shoots to play with. They looked just like the tips of my own garden peas with their curly tendrils and fleshy stems and leaves, but since clipping the tips of peas would mean diminishing the precious harvest of fresh peas from the pod, I have never wanted to harvest my own.

I washed through this bag and picked out a few yellowed pea shoots and then rinsed them off. My cookbook collection advised me to simply prepare this tender vegetable with some garlic, oil and a splash of soy sauce, so that is what I did. I threw 5 cloves of finely chopped garlic in some heated peanut oil; stirred them around for a minute or so, then threw in my pea shoots. They wilted down, though not as much as spinach or other fresh greens would, and after 3-4 minutes of stir-frying, I splashed in a tablespoon of soy sauce and hied them over to the table.

Curiously, these pea shoots did not so much taste of peas as spinach. They have a springy texture from the stems and a soft, melting greens taste in their leaves. They are full of all kinds of wonderful nutrients and they will be sproinging their way onto my table again soon. I may even have to consider harvesting my own, much as I love my sweet little petit pois; that's how tasty they are.

I found a great list of pea shoot recipes on this website and will be sure to try out some of these methods soon.

This sojourn into the possibilities of pea shoots is my contribution to the 292nd edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, which I am hosting here at The Crispy Cook. Weekend Herb Blogging, now in its fifth year, is headquartered Down Under by Haalo at Cook Almost Anything, and if you are new to WHB you can find out all the details about this popular and longstanding food blog event here.

In a nutshell, (or pea pod), Weekend Herb Blogging is a weekly celebration of posts from great cooks all around the globe which spotlight an edible member of the Vegetable Kingdom, be it herb, fruit, flower, veggie or some other plant part. Posts for WHB must be written exclusively for this event and not cross-posted elsewhere. They may contain information about growing, harvesting or cooking a plant ingredient. The deadline for submitting a WHB #292 submission is Sunday, July 17, 5 pm, Eastern Standard Time.

To participate, send your posts to me at oldsaratogabooks AT gmail DOT com
with WHB #292 in the subject line and the following details:
  • Your name
  • Your Blog/URL
  • Your Post URL
  • Your Location
  • Attach a Photo: 250px wide
Looking forward to your tasty posts!


Alicia Foodycat said...

I'm in two minds on peashoots. I've had some lovely ones, but some days they just take too much chewing, and I feel like a cow with grass hanging out of its mouth!

Rachel said...

Foodycat: Oh my. I did not have any bovine thoughts at all while eating my pea shoots. They must have been very young. I imagine older ones would have the potential to be cud.

Kalinda said...

I love your heart-shaped bowl. Too cute.

I also found pea shoots this week and eagerly snatched them up because I read somewhere that they tasted like peas. Unfortunately no, they tasted like sprouts (mine were much smaller than yours). Ah well, sprouts taste good too.

janet @ the taste space said...

So glad to hear you loved the pea shoots! I discovered them earlier this year and adored them! I have only eaten them raw, and that's when they definitely taste like peas. :)

Simona said...

Interesting: i have never had pea shoots. My pea-planting adventure was a disaster :( I hope to get it right next year. Lovely bowl!