Snow peas are a type of edible-podded peas that have a unique combination of crispness and sweetness. Also known as mange touts, sugar peas, or Chinese pea pods, they grow well in slightly cooler climates and can be harvested about 70 days after sowing. Snow peas are best eaten when young and the flat pods are still tender and bright green.
To prepare them, simply top and tail the pods before cooking. Snow peas are delicate and have a texture similar to fresh green peas, but their edible pods are the star of the show with their crisp and tender texture. Frozen snow peas are not as good as fresh ones, as they lack the qualities of their freshly picked counterparts.
History of Snow Peas:
Snow peas have been cultivated for thousands of years and are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region. They were introduced to China in the 17th century and have since become a popular vegetable in Chinese and other Asian cuisines. Today, snow peas are grown in many parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Nutritional Benefits of Snow Peas:
Snow peas are low in calories and high in nutrients, making them an excellent addition to any diet. They are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. They also contain folate, iron, and potassium, which are essential for maintaining good health. Snow peas are also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Cooking with Snow Peas:
Snow peas are a versatile vegetable and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including stir-frying, steaming, and sautéing. They are often used in Asian stir-fry dishes, where they add a sweet and crunchy texture. To prepare snow peas, rinse them under cold water and remove the stem and any strings that may be attached.
One of the most popular ways to cook snow peas is to stir-fry them. To stir-fry snow peas, heat a wok or skillet over high heat and add some oil. When the oil is hot, add the snow peas and stir-fry for a few minutes until they are tender-crisp. You can add other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, onions, or meat to create a delicious and healthy dish.
Another popular way to cook snow peas is to steam them. To steam snow peas, place them in a steamer basket or on a rack in a pot with some water. Cover the pot and steam for about 3-5 minutes until the peas are tender but still crunchy. You can season them with some salt, pepper, and butter for a simple and delicious side dish.
Storage Tips for Snow Peas:
Snow peas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To store them, place them in a plastic bag or container and keep them in the crisper drawer. Do not wash them before storing, as the excess moisture can cause them to spoil more quickly. If you have too many snow peas, you can also freeze them for later use. To freeze them, blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then rinse them in cold water and pat them dry. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
In conclusion, snow peas are a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and are a great addition to any diet. Whether you stir-fry them, steam them, or sauté them, snow peas are sure to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. We hope this guide has been helpful in introducing you to the world of snow peas and inspires you to try them out in your own cooking.