pea leaves preparation
I just got back from my favorite asian market with a bag of pea leaves. Anybody have a suggestion on how I should prepare them?
There are two kinds of pea shoot (Cant.=Dow Myoo), one is the growing tip of a pea plant and is about 4 to 6 inches long with leaves the size of a US quarter and tendrils and sometimes blossoms. These are pinched off several times during the lifetime of the plant. The other is literally the sprout of a pea and is about 3 inches long with just a few delicate green leaves the size of a kidney bean and a fine, white stem, very much like any other sprout, alfalfa or radish, but shorn of its roots.
Both types can be treated as follows:
Clean and wash as you would any other leafy green, and drain well. Heat a little oil in a pan and get it real hot, throw in some salt, a slice or two of ginger, a pinch of sugar. Add the greens and toss a few minutes (tongs work great here), then add a small amount of water or preferably clear chicken stock, enough to generate some steam. Immediately clap a lid on the pan and wait until greens are wilted, but still bright green and ever so slightly crisp. Turn out onto a plate and enjoy.
Other additions (garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce) may please you more although I think this really masks the lovely sweetness of the pea shoot. You may also use the cooked greens as a bed for a seafood dish in a light sauce (braised abalone, for instance).