Like most green leafy vegetables, pea shoots – the young tendrils and leaves of the garden pea plant – are incredibly nutrient-dense. You can start looking for them at farmers markets or Asian markets in the spring and early summer.
Two cups of raw pea shoots have 10 calories, zero fat, 35.5% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 15% of vitamin A, 8.75% of vitamin E, 132% of vitamin K, 10.5% of folate, 5.75% of thiamine, 7% of riboflavin, and 4.75% of vitamin B-6. They’re also chock-full of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Here are my top ten vegetarian and vegan pea shoot recipes:
1. Pea Shoot Salad with Soy Vinaigrette
For the soy vinaigrette, blend 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil, 1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil, 3 tablespoons of unseasoned rice wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.
2. Pea Shoot Salad with Coconut Curry Vinaigrette and Toasted Sea Vegetables
For the coconut curry vinaigrette, blend 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of curry powder. Sprinkle your salad with crumbled, lightly toasted nori, to taste.
3. Vietnamese-Style Stir-Fried Vegetables
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- 1 cup of broccoli florets
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of snow or snap peas, trimmed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 dried Thai chilies or hot red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce or soy sauce
- 2 cups of pea shoots
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Cook the broccoli for about a minute. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir fry until the broccoli is crisp-tender (about 5 minutes). Remove from the pan and repeat with the carrots and snow peas.
Put a bit more oil in the pan and add the onion. Cook over high heat for 3-5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the chiles and garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add 1/4 cup of water, the fish sauce, and the pepper. Add the cooked vegetables back to the pan. Stir the mixture and cook until combined (about 1 minute). Add the pea shoots and stir fry until just wilted and lightly sauced (30 seconds to a minute, depending on how delicate your pea shoots are). Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot with rice and sriracha chili sauce, if you’d like.