I’m really lucky to not only live in the same city as my brother and sister in law. But I also live in the same building as them. This calls for shared meals, shared wine, and lots of conversations till late at night. It’s an amazing set up, especially because I can take a break from cooking and have my brother and sister in law make some of their dishes that are important to them. One of the dishes that “A” makes is a shrimp and snap pea dish. It comes from her Grandmother, who I have had the privilege to meet many times and have and will constantly be schooled in a friendly game of Mahjong. [we have been known to play till 3 am with her going strong and me on my third red bull] This dish is amazing and it contains one of my favorite vegetables out there; a vegetable of pure holy-ness: sugar snap peas. Fitting that A’s grandmother would make a dish with a vegetable that is so much like her: sweet with a crisp wit.
Sugar snap peas are in season. I’m officially squealing like a schoolgirl as I type this. I love these delicious, crisp, mangetout [a fancy French name meaning “eat all”- like snap peas and snow peas]. I’ve seen them constantly in the giant Costco veggie platters before. I actually think that was my first experience with them. They are just so unbelievably addictive, cooked or raw. I’m actually chomping away at these raw snap peas as I type this, not giving a care in the world that I’m slowly depleting my stash for both the cooking, photo, and recipe development for this post. I must stop chomping.
Sugar snap peas are my favorite of all the pea families. Well, actually, that’s a pretty heavy statement. I think my experience with peas growing up has primarily been with frozen peas, peas in fried rice, canned peas, and then sugar snap peas. Now that I typed that all out, it’s no wonder I really love sugar snap peas. It’s like the over achieving kid in class who always has his hand up in a sea of students who don’t care. You can’t help but notice it. Now that it’s pea season, I may have to add it to my list next time I go to the farmer’s market. Right now is the perfect time to get the peas. They are usually planted early in spring because they are hearty plants that can survive frost, so by mid June/ early summer you get to enjoy these scrumptious vegetables.
This dish is simple, easy, and fresh. It’s so hot and humid in the summer that I rarely want to cook anything that requires standing over a hot stove for a long time. So a stir fry is probably the best thing in the summer. Plus the quick cooking over high heat keeps a crisp freshness in the sweet peas, which just scream summer sun [the peas-well I guess the cooking method too]. The sweetness of the shrimp marries well with the sweetness of the peas and the garlic and wine act as the officiant between the two. You can serve this at room temperature or straight from the wok. Both are way delicious. Now, off to the market to buy more snap peas to replenish my stash.
1 tbs canola oil
2 medium cloves of garlic, sliced
½ lb shrimp, shelled with head on [head is optional. I like the extra shrimp flavor]
2 cups of sugar snap peas, stems and tough string running on the top from stem to tip removed
1 tsp salt
5 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
heat oil on high in a wok or large skillet until extremely hot and the surface of the oil looks to be moving
add garlic and shrimp and stir until translucent, about 2 minutes
add peas, wine, and salt and stir until peas are slightly cooked. about another 2 minutes