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Stir-Fried Pea Shoots

Stir-Fried Pea Shoots

You can find pea shoots at Asian markets and some specialty markets, too. Look for those with firm, bright green leaves, a sign of freshness.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 whole dried hot red chiles
  • 3-4 cloves garlic peeled, smashed
  • ¾ pound mature pea shoots, thick stems removed, torn into 2” pieces

Recipe Preparation


  • Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and garlic and cook, tossing, until chiles are darkened in color and garlic is barely golden, about 30 seconds. Add pea shoots and cook, tossing often, until stems are crisp-tender and leaves are just wilted, about 1 minute; season with salt.

,Photos by Michael Graydon Nikole Herriott

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 70 Fat (g) 7 Saturated Fat (g) 1 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 2 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 0 Protein (g) 1 Sodium (mg) 120Reviews Section

Pea Tips Stir-fry

Pea Tips or pea leaves are gaining popularity as more people are informed of their sweet, delicious existence and search for them on Chinese restaurant menus. We’ve already covered a recipe for these, but we wanted to do a redux version with new photos.

Pea tips are the tender leaves of a pea plant and they are one of the best stir fry vegetables and also the most vogue for the past few years. They’re available pretty much year-around at our local Chinese grocery store but like anything else, best when they are in season. If you go out to buy them, look for short stems with thick leaves (they’re rather tough when skinny and long).

You can also grab a stem and pull it apart. It’s good if it snaps easily. Some of them will have pea tendrils, which are tough so you’ll want to pick them off. But the leaves are quite tender and they have the most delightful flavor!

This vegetable’s texture is similar to spinach, but with a very refreshing, sweet flavor (without that iron-y residue that spinach has). You do need to spend a little bit of time going through them and to pick off the tougher parts, but once the prep work is done, pea leaves only take a couple of minutes to cook and serve.

  • This particular vegetable requires a little more oil than you’d usually use to cook veggies but all stir fry vegetables need a liberal amount of light oil
  • When cooking leafy green vegetables, do NOT cover the lid more than once, or your veggies will turn yellow.
  • To get that restaurant taste, increase the salt a little bit, and cook over very high heat. These sweet tasting pea tips will balance the salt so no added sugar is needed

Stir Fried Pea Shoots (Chow Dau Miu)

Stir Fried Pea Shoots (Chow Dau Miu)

One of my favorite things about farmers markets is getting to talk with different people and hear what their favorite recipes are. Thank you to the people last week that explained this Chinese dish to me- and I hope the recipe and Chinese name I found on google are representative of the traditional dish. If you have a favorite family recipe that differs from this, please send it my way!

Stir Fried Pea Shoots! The aforementioned google search provided a variety of different recipes, with a few different ingredients. This recipe is a basic, fresh version of the recipe with all the typical ingredients but if you are looking for something a little spicier etc read through to the notes at the bottom for some interesting additions.

How to make this recipe

Add the oil into the wok using a high heat. Turn the heat down to a medium and throw in the garlic to avoid burning.

Bring the heat up to high and throw in the pea shoots, chicken bouillon powder and salt. Stir for 1-2 minutes (or until slightly wilted) then plate immediately.

Serve with a bowl of rice and enjoy!

How do you clean pea shoots?

As we do with all of our greens, fill the sink with cold water and add 3 tbsp salt. Pour the pea shoots in and let it sit in the salted water for a few minutes.

Submerging it in saltwater not only cleans the pea shoots, but encourages any living creatures to crawl or swim out.

Transfer the greens into a colander, drain the sink water and repeat the salted soaking a few more times.

Recipe Instructions

Soak snow pea leaves in a large bowl or other container for 1 to 2 hours. Then wash thoroughly (2 to 3 times) to get rid of all the dirt and sand clinging to the leaves and stems. Drain off all the water.

Using very high heat, heat oil in your wok until smoking. Quickly add the garlic and the veggies, taking care not to burn them by constantly stirring. After a minute, add salt, cracked white pepper, and sesame oil. Stir and mix well.

Put the lid on the wok and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Remove lid, stir briefly, and transfer to a dish.

Tip: don’t open the lid more than once during cooking, as it will cause the vegetables to lose their vibrant green color.

Check out another more recent pea tips stir fry recipe from Judy.

Here’s the nice and neat printable version:

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Wok-Fried Pea Shoots

Adapted from Patricia Tanumihardja | The Asian Grandmother's Cookbook | Sasquatch, 2009

A brief fling in the wok is the perfect technique for cooking delicate pea shoots (sometimes called pea vines). Available at farmers markets and Asian markets (under the name dou miao at the latter), pea shoots should include a top pair of small leaves at the tip, delicate tendrils attached to the young stem, and a few larger leaves or blossoms. Select bright green, undamaged shoots. Pea shoots are often confused with pea sprouts, the whole baby pea plant. However, shoots and sprouts can be used interchangeably. Serve with a meat dish and freshly steamed rice. Originally published December 1, 2009.Patricia Tanumihardja

LC Greens Galore Note

Author Pat Tanumihardja notes in her book that “this cooking method can be used for many vegetables, from bok choy to tatsoi to Chinese flowering cabbage (choy sum). For vegetables with thicker stems or ribs, separate the leaves and stems and add the stems first as they require a longer cooking time.” Okay, then. Sautéed greens all year round it is!

Pea Shoot Recipes

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.

Related Video

I made it in a Le Creuset lowish stockpot, not a wok as directed. It worked perfectly with 1/2 pound of pea shoots but took much longer with a full pound. Since I'm not in the market for a wok or larger frying pan, I will make this recipe in batches of half a pound each-- it's quick anyhow. I made it for a dinner party and my guests loved it I will definitely make it again. Pretty too.

This was a quick and tasty recipe, but if I made this again, I would definitely leave out the stalks- they turn out tough and not so tasty. This was also a little too spicy- Iɽ cut back on the red pepper flakes!

I don't know if I did something wrong, but this was tough and terrible! My husband took one taste and said heɽ have extra salad instead!

This was simple and tasty. I had it for lunch instead of a salad.

I was intrigued with the bags of pea shoots sold in Asian markets and this is a simple way to eat them. I now add them to salad and other stir fries and will be raiding the garden. The pea shoot flowers make an interesting garnish.

Pea Leaves

Pea leaves are simply the tender leaves, stems, and shoots from a number of different pea cultivars. While pea leaves are typically found in farmer’s markets in the spring and early summer, Asian grocer stores often carry them year-round. When shopping for pea leaves, you may notice that they seem to vary quite a bit in terms of appearance. Some pea leaves have very long, thin stems with small leaves and some will have shorter, thicker stems and big leaves. Most of these will work well. Just be aware that if the pea leaves are from plants that are overly mature, they won’t be as sweet and the stems could be a bit tough.

These pea leaves are on the large-ish side.