This easy snow peas recipe uses a handful of fresh ingredients and pantry staples and it’s ready to eat in minutes. Use a hot skillet or wok for this simple snow pea stir fry. You’ll love this Asian inspired side dish to go with chicken, pork, seafood and more.
When you think of snow peas you probably think of them as part of a larger recipe like my pork lo mein, but these tender, green pea pods are also delicious on their own, like in this snow pea side dish. This simple recipe is a quick, easy and goes with so many main course dishes.
Snow peas vs. snap peas – what’s the difference?
Before we get into the recipe, I just want to point out the difference between snow peas and snap peas, so there’s no confusion.
Snow peas are also known as Chinese pea pods (they originated in Southwest Asia) and they are indeed a pea pod, but the snow peas are harvested before the peas are mature.
You can easily tell the difference because snow peas are much flatter than snap peas.
Sugar snap peas on the other hand, are a hybrid of between English peas and snow peas. They are rounder, crunchier and very good to snack on raw with hummus.
Fresh snow peas are best for this recipe.
Ingredients for snow peas recipe
- Soy Sauce
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Sesame Oil
- Granulated Sugar
- Snow Peas
- Grated Ginger
- Minced Garlic
- Vegetable Oil (or other neutral oil)
- Toasted Sesame Seeds (optional)
- Black Sesame Seeds (optional)
Do I need to trim snow peas?
Snow peas have a thin string that runs along the seam for the length of the pod. Sometimes they can be tough… and well, stringy.
Although the full pod is edible, some people may want to remove the strings before cooking the snow peas. It’s your choice.
How to trim snow peas
- Hold a snow pea in your hand and use a sharp paring knife to gently trim the end of the pod where the little string is attached.
- Don’t cut through the string, but instead, hold it between your thumb and knife and simply pull the string down the length of the pod and discard it.
How to cook snow peas
- Whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a heavy skillet or wok over medium high heat.
- When the skillet is hot, add the neutral oil, then stir in the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is fragrant.
- Add the snow peas to the skillet and cook, tossing occasionally for about 1 minute.
- Stir in the sauce and toss to coat the snow peas. Cook until the sauce reduces to a glaze and the peas are crisp tender.
- Remove from heat and garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
Pro-Tip for cooking snow peas
This easy snow peas recipe comes together quickly so it’s best to have everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
- If you like a little spice, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or squeeze of sriracha to the sauce.
- For more crunch, add a handful of chopped peanuts or cashews when you add the snow peas to the skillet.
- If you like a fresh finish, add a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro just before serving.
No, this is really best when it’s done fresh and at the last minute.
You can, but they won’t be quite as snappy. Frozen vegetables are typically blanched first (already cooked), so they won’t be as crisp-tender as fresh.
Absolutely! It would be very good with sautéed mushrooms and/or strips of sweet bell pepper. You’ll want to account for different cooking times with the stir fry, though. Start with mushrooms and when they’re cooked and tender, add the red bell pepper, then proceed with the rest of the ingredients. You can serve with rice for a simple vegetarian meal.
How do the snow peas with ginger and garlic taste?
We love these stir fried snow peas because they’re crisp-tender to the bite with a tasty Asian-inspired flavor and a nice change of pace from everyday side dishes like green beans. The toasted sesame seeds and black sesame seeds add both texture and an eye popping accent.
What goes with this snow pea recipe?
This snow peas recipe goes with lots of main course dishes (Asian and otherwise). Here’s a few suggestions:
- Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
- Sweet and Spicy Chinese Beef Noodles
- Pineapple Grilled Shrimp
- Tangy Asian Pulled Pork
- Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
More easy vegetable side dishes to try:
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Asian Cucumber Salad
- Pesto and Summer Squash Salad
- Crispy Zucchini Fries with Aioli
- Asparagus with Creamy Dijon Sauce
Snow Peas with Ginger and Garlic
- heavy skillet or wok
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
FOR THE SNOW PEAS:
- 9 ounces snow peas strings trimmed
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds optional
MAKE THE SAUCE:
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and sugar. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Heat a skillet or wok over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the vegetable or canola oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the snow peas and sauté for about 1 minute, tossing with the garlic and ginger frequently.
- Stir in the sauce and cook until it reduces down to a glaze. Add the sesame seeds and toss to coat. Serve immediately.