Monday, September 8, 2008
Snow Pea Sprouts Two Ways: A Stir Fry and A Salad
Snow Pea Sprouts are the tender, new, young shoots of the snow pea plant. It is known as Dou Miao in other parts of Asia. Maybe in your countries, this is a common ingredient. But here in Asia, it is considered a delicacy primarily because it is not always available even in the advanced Asian countries like Hong Kong.
In all my life, I have never seen Snow Pea Sprouts - the real ones, here in the Philippines. The only times we get to taste this delicious veggie is when we go to Hong Kong in winter, around December, January and February. It is also not available year-round there. So, we do not get to taste it if we go to Hong Kong during other months.
You can imagine my scream of delight when I found several packs of this snow pea sprouts being sold at Santi's Deli. Did I mention that this is my favorite, ultra-favorite veggie? So, you can now imagine that my scream is a little louder than a quiet scream :) Snow pea sprouts available locally? Wow! Santi's is an upscale deli store that sells mostly imported produce. It has several branches around Metro Manila, mostly in upscale villages and suburbs. I emphasize the word "upscale" because, well, as you guessed it, their food prices are also "upscale."
I am not a regular customer of the place, but I wanted to buy some German sausages for a German missionary couple who were going to share their experiences (as missionaries to the Philippines) for the Missions Night of our Couples@Work Fellowship. I thought giving them food from their home would give them comfort and familiar enjoyment that they do not usually have. This German lady friend is also the one I mentioned in a previous post, she was the one who taught me how to make Quiche. :)
Back to my Snow Pea Sprouts. I only bought a pack. The sprouts from Hong Kong have more leaves than stem - more greens than whites. The ones I got here have smaller leaves. Would they taste the same? I was not sure if they are still tender, how long have these greens stayed on the store's shelf? I know after three days storage life, these sprouts would not be tender anymore. As, I said, this is an upscale store. How many people would deliberately buy an expensive pack of snow pea sprouts when they can buy mung bean sprouts at ninety percent less the price? Probably, just crazy old me, craving for a taste in my memory... :)
I have to maximize my very expensive sprouts, so I prepared them two ways. One is a simple stir-fry. This is very easy to do, and it brings out the delicate flavor of the snow pea sprouts.
100 gms snow pea sprouts
6 T minced garlic
1 T soaked dried shrimps (hebi), drained, optional
soy sauce to taste
4 T cooking oil
sprinkling of pepper powder
1. Heat up the oil in a wok or skillet. Add in the garlic and saute until fragrant but not burnt.
2. Add in the softened dried shrimps. Stir for a while. Add in the snow pea sprouts. Mix for a little while (just a few seconds!), add in soy sauce to taste. Turn off heat as soon as the greens are starting to wilt. Do not overcook the veggies. Sprinkle with some ground pepper if preferred.
Snow Pea Sprouts are also delicious raw. So I added them to sliced cucumber, sliced onions, minced garlic. I made some Creamy Soy Ginger Dressing, but this time, I added some chopped cilantro.
These sprouts are also yummy, though of different variety from those I was used to. They have a delicate flavor, with a hint of nutty-ness.
Why should we eat more of snow pea sprouts? Because they are high in protein and provide a good source of calcium vitamin B1, C, and niacin. If only they are less expensive...
Sharing these delicate snow pea sprouts with the Weekend Herb Blogging community. This foodie event was launched by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen to feature herbs and unique plant ingredients around the world and the dishes we prepare using these ingredients. This week's host is Gretchen of Canela and Comino. She features interesting sites and food from Peru. To see last week's yummy round-up, please click on Ulricke of Kutchenlatain.