Friday, May 04, 2012

Recipe for Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Sriracha

If you love sugar snap peas like I do, you have to try these Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas.

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.  I'm crazy about sugar snap peas, and this easy stir-fry is one of my favorite ways to use them in a cooked dish.)

Recently I talked about my profound affection for sugar snap peas, and I decided it might be fun to experiment with them as the starring ingredient in a stir-fried vegetable side dish.  Not that I hadn't stir-fried sugar snap peas before, but never like this with them sliced diagonally to reveal the tiny peas inside.  I have no idea where I got the idea of slicing the peas for a stir-fry, but I loved the results.  The pods cooked more quickly, and a few tiny peas spilled out, adding visual interest and a lot of sweet pea flavor to the finished dish.

Many years ago I took Chinese cooking classes and this recipe follows the basic rules for stir-frying I learned in that class:
  1. Preheat the wok (or pan) before you add the oil.
  2. Season the oil (add slices of fresh garlic cloves and ginger root and stir-fry very briefly, just until they become fragrant.)
  3. Remember the importance of symmetry of cut (all pieces should be the same size for stir-fry cooking.)
  4. Have all ingredients cut and sauces mixed before you start to cook.
  5. Use very high heat and cook fast.
The only part of making this that's a little labor intensive is pulling off the string from each of the pods and then slicing them lengthwise on the diagonal.  (The sugar snap peas actually have a string along each side, but on most of them I just snapped the stem and pulled one side off.) 

Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil and Sriracha sauce to make the finishing sauce.

Cut several slices of fresh ginger root and slice a couple of garlic cloves for "seasoning the oil."  Don't skip this step, which adds a lot of flavor.

Preheat the wok or heavy frying pan for about a minute, then add the oil.  When the oil is very hot (shimmering), add the garlic and ginger slices and stir-fry just until they become fragrant, less than a minute. 

Add the sugar snap peas to the seasoned oil and stir-fry about 2 minutes, or until the peas are bright green and just starting to be cooked.

Then add the sauce mixture and cook about 1 minute more, stirring the entire time.  Serve hot, sprinkled with black sesame seeds if desired.


Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Sriracha
(Makes 3-4 side dish servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

Ingredients:
1 lb. sugar snap peas
2  T soy sauce (can use low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer)
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
1 tsp.  Sriracha sauce
2-3 slices fresh ginger root
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 T peanut oil
1 tsp. black sesame seeds or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Instructions:
Remove the strings from the each sugar snap pea by snapping the stem end and pulling the string down the side, then slice each one on the diagonal.  (The sugar snap peas actually have a string on each side, but on most of them I only removed the string from one side.)

Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the wok or heavy frying pan on the burner and preheat at least one minute.  (It should feel very hot if you hold your hand above the wok.)  When wok is hot, add the oil and let it heat until the oil is shimmering (about 15-30 seconds, depending on how hot your stove gets.)  Add the sliced ginger root and garlic and stir-fry just long enough so that they become fragrant and season the oil, then remove.  (Be careful not to brown the ginger and garlic or they will have a bitter taste.)

Add the sliced sugar snap peas and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the peas turn bright green and are just starting to cook, about 2 minutes.  Pour in the sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce just starts to coat the peas, about 1 minute more.  (There will be some sauce in the bottom of the wok, but not much.)  Serve hot, sprinkled with black sesame seeds or sesame seeds if desired.

I had some of this left over and was pleasantly surprised at how great it tasted cold when I ate it for lunch the next day.  I started just having "a taste" of the cold leftover peas and ended up eating them all.


South Beach Suggestions: 
Stir-fried sugar snap peas like this are a great side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any type of  low-glycemic eating plan.  I think this would be a great side dish for Forbidden City Chicken, Grilled Fusion Chicken, or Chicken Breasts with Cilantro and Red Thai Curry and Peanut Sauce.

More Ideas from Food Blogs for Cooking Sugar Snap Peas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Shrimp Stir-Fry with Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas from White on Rice Couple
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Butter from A Veggie Venture
Sambal-Fried Bean Curd with Sugar Snap Peas from Noob Cook
Spicy Thai Fried Rice with Sugar Snap Peas from Cook's Hideout
Spring Snap Risotto from Not Eating Out in New York
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

47 comments:

  1. Those peas look gorgeous, especially with the black sesame seed garnish. Anything that has Sriracha in it is something I want to try. It's amazing how just a small amount of Sriracha can perk up a sauce.

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  2. Your recipe sounds very tasty - however, I would like to make a tiny suggestion concerning the garlic and ginger - they should be undertones in what is basically a musical dish dish - meaning, mince them carefully, rather than slicing, and add them at the same time as you have suggested. I find slicing to be okay, when you add to oil, and then pull out... however, when you want the hint of ginger or garlic, take the time to mince - the flavor wiill still be there, but will not overwhelm the dish!

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  3. I could dig into this right now. Snap peas are a favorite of mine, too, but like you, I've never prepared them by splitting them. Love all the flavors you've put into this dish.

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  4. Man, I KNEW there was a reason I should have picked up some sugar snaps yesterday at Whole Foods! These look so good! I love the sound of the sesame soy sauce.

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  5. I love sugar snap peas and this recipe sounds simple to make and delicious!

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  6. I'm a fan of snap peas as well, but haven't found a lot of interesting recipes (until now) for preparing them as a side dish. I usually resort to throwing them into a stir fry, but I love this recipe, as they are the "hero" of the dish.

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  7. Lydia, the Sriracha really added a lot to this.

    Gungho Gourmet, feel free to mince the garlic and ginger if you make this, however I prefer not to have bits of garlic and ginger throughout the dish so I like the flavor you get from seasoning the oil. (And comments are moderated and don't show up until I post them. When you post it after I'm in bed, it doesn't get moderated until the next morning. No need to post it four times with comments such as "fix your site.")

    Kellypea, thanks! Wish I could remember where I saw that. I can picture it in my mind, but not where it was.

    Joanne and Nancy, I loved it!

    TW, I agree that these babies should be the star on their own.

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  8. You always amaze me with your originality! Another great recipe, Kalyn.

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  9. Thanks Scott, that is so sweet of you!

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  10. These sugar snap peas look so fresh and inviting. I could eat the entire lot of 'em. Gorgeous!

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  11. Karina, they definitely didn't last long around here! Just bought a new bag of sugar snap peas so I can make them again.

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  12. I am also fond of snap peas but need other ways to fix whatever I don't eat raw straight out of the fridge. Can't wait to try this.

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  13. yum, I'll be using this recipe this spring/summer when my CSA delivers some yummy snap peas. Well, that is, if I have any left after I gobble them raw! I love snap peas!

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  14. Debbie, I love them too. How great to get such a treat in the CSA box. Hope you get to try this.

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  15. Lovely dish. Sugar snap peas are a favourite of mine. The one sold here don't have such large peas though as the US ones. I often slice them ribbon like and stir fry them.

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  16. Thanks Barbara. Here we also get a type of flatter pea that are called "snow peas" and they have much smaller peas. I bet that's what you have. Aren't they good in stir-fries?

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  17. Cotco by my house sells big bags of these snap peas and I always have the other ingredients on hand so I am sure I'll be making these soon!

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  18. Brenda, Costco is where I get them too!

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  19. These look so yummy! I'm trying to grow snap peas in my hoop house, otherwise, I'll truck over to Costco too. I love their green beans to make dilly beans with . . .

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  20. I haven't tried growing sugar snap peas, but it sounds like a fun thing to grow!

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  21. Great recipe, my kids love sugar snap peas and all these flavorings. I'll have to give this a try!

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  22. Jeanette, it's only slightly spicy with the amount of Sriracha I used, pretty kid friendly. Hope they like it.

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  23. I like the idea of adding sriracha to a stir fry to spice things up. I think your way of cutting the snap peas diagonally will work for me - not only is it prettier with the beans exposed, I actually find it a chore to pull the strings and trim the edges. Thanks for your mention too :)

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  24. I must say, I loved the peas sliced like this!

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  25. Well, it's lunch time, I haven't eaten yet, and I'm wishing I could just reach right through my screen to sample those sugar snap peas, Kalyn! Those look phenomenal. I must try this recipe! Like others are saying, I've never purposely split mine, but they look so appealing this way. :-)

    Thanks, Kalyn!
    Shirley

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  26. Shirley, as I said, I am sold on slicing the peas now that I've done it!

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  27. I love sugar snap peas- especially in asian cuisine and these look amazing!

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  28. Yum, yum, yum! This recipe looks so great. We're featuring side dishes this week over at the M&T Spotlight and I'd love for you to submit this. Just go to our website and click on the "spotlight" tab!

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  29. Yum! My roommate and I were just discussing how much we love snap peas!

    I'm still new to this cooking thing and I was wondering if the Sriracha is absolutely necessary? I was wondering if adding crushed red peppers would work.

    Andi

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  30. Andi, I think you could use crushed red peppers. I would put them right in the sauce and don't get carried away and put too many unless you really like it spicy!

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  31. This is a great idea, Kalyn! I very much enjoy a similar dish with good old green beans, yet I hadn't ever considered trying sugar snap peas! This is going on my "to make" list!

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  32. Jackie, great! Hope you enjoy it.

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  33. My apologies - I did not mean to offend you if I did - I was merely commenting on a great recipe and offering suggestions in terms of the garlic and ginger - I truly was not criticizing, just offering a suggestion.

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  34. Gungho Gourmet, no worries, no offense taken.

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  35. This recipe is sooooo good! I love the sauce so much, I used it on cabbage and it was just as yummy. This website is my best find of the year. My husband and I went on the South Beach Diet beginning in January. I googled SBD recipes and happened across your website. It has made dieting so easy! My husband thinks I'm a gourmet cook and I've lost 13 pounds. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes and insights. I'm a fan!

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  36. Teresa, thank you! So glad you're enjoying the recipes and that they're working for you.

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  37. This was really nice. My only complaint was that I didn't have any leftovers! Will definitely make again. Love your recipes, Kalyn, especially since I'm back on Phase 1 again of SBD due to my weight creeping back up. Thanks!

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  38. Terri, so glad you liked it (and I am on phase one right now too!)

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  39. Great recipe Kalyn! Linking back to this recipe in an upcoming snap peas post :)

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  40. Thanks Marla; must be ESP because I just linked to one of your Tilapia recipes about 5 minutes ago!

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  41. Can't wait for fresh sugar snap peas to appear in our farmer's market - love this combination of flavors!

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  42. I love this!! We eat snap peas with this recipe weekly. Can't go a week without it. So delicious, and any leftovers are great reheated the next day. BUT we hardly ever have leftover. Try this. You won't be disappointed. Thanks Kalyn.

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  43. Oh my .... these were delicious! I will be making these over and over!

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  44. I made these last night with the sriracha beef wraps. Delicious! We just started SBD on Saturday and have already made four of your recipes. My husband is excited to have such delicious food on the diet, but he said that portion control is going to be tough given how good everything is. Thanks for this wonderful resource! (and for the delicious leftover sugar snap peas I get to enjoy at lunch!)

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  45. Tia, glad you are enjoying the recipes. And for something like this, I would not worry a bit about portion control. Eat as much as you'd like!

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