If you love sugar snap peas like I do, you have to try these Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas. And this tasty veggie side dish is easy, low-carb, gluten-free, South Beach Diet Phase One, and Vegan!
(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:
- Preheat the wok (or pan) before you add the oil.
- Season the oil (add slices of fresh garlic cloves and ginger root and stir-fry very briefly, just until they become fragrant.)
- Remember the importance of symmetry of cut (all pieces should be the same size for stir-fry cooking.)
- Have all ingredients cut and sauces mixed before you start to cook.
- 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.)
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. For a low-carb meal, serve with Forbidden City Chicken, Grilled Fusion Chicken, or Chicken Breasts with Cilantro and Red Thai Curry and Peanut Sauce.
Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Sriracha
(Makes 3-4 side dish servings, recipe created by Kalyn)
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)
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 Diet / Low-Carb Diet 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-carb or low-glycemic eating plan.
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.)