Snow Peas & Sugar snap Peas

Snow Peas, leaves, tendrils and flowers
Note the pea growing from the flower (bottom, center left)

Snow peas and sugar snap peas are members of the  Pisum sativum Leguminosae Family. They are edible-podded peas also known as snap peas, sugar peas and Chinese peas. The pod of snow peas are flat, sugar snap peas are rounded (see photo at end of post). Click here for Cornell University peas growing guide.

Growing: Snow peas/sugar snap peas grow best during spring and early summer when temperatures are between 60ºF to 75ºF. Sow seeds (in well drained soil high in organic matter) in spring (late March early April) as soon as soil is workable. I find if I wait until the soil is around 60ºF to sow, the seeds germinate faster. For extended harvest plant varieties with different maturity dates or practice successive planting. Tall vining varieties require trellissing. Follow package directions for planting depth and spacing.

Harvesting: Some people like to harvest when the peas are barely showing (photo top of post), I like to harvest when there is more swelling (photo at end of post).

Cooking: Snow peas and sugar snap peas are interchagable in recipes. They are at their tastiest immediately after harvest. A very versatile vegetable, can be eaten cooked or uncooked.
Cooked – Alone or mixed with other vegetables for a side. Add to meat, seafood, tofu or poultry in a stir-fry as a main course
Uncooked – Add to salad, as part of a crudité platter …….

Snow Peas, Radish & Chinese (Garlic) Chives Flowers Stir-fry

Ingredients (see NOTE)
Snow peas, remove stem ends and stringed
Red radishes, thinly sliced
Chinese (garlic) chives flowers, cut into about 1″ – 2″ lengths
1 – 2 slices ginger, fresh or from ginger wine
1 – 2 tablespoons ginger wine or as needed
Kosher salt to taste
1 – 3 teaspoons oil
1 – 3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, optional
1 – 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish, optional

1. Add oil to preheated wok or frying pan. Add ginger, stir fry a few seconds to flavor oil.
2. Add salt, snow peas, radishes and chives flowers. Stir fry until snow peas turn bright green, add wine, stir fry until wine is absorbed amd veggies reached desired doneness.
3. Stir in sesame oil, if using. Remove to serving platter, garnish with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve hot or at room temp.

NOTE: This is one of those recipes (no specific quantities given, just use it as a guide) where you do your own thing, add as much or as few of what you like or is available.

Substitute: sugar snap peas for the snow peas
Substitute: soy sauce or oyster sauce for the salt, add same time as wine
Substitute: garlic scapes for the Chinese chive flowers

Snow Peas (top), Sugar Snap (bottom)

Copyright © by Norma Chang

Robin, The Gardener of Eden, is the host for Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard. Head on over to Thursday’s Kitchen Cupboard to see what others are cooking.

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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41 Responses to Snow Peas & Sugar snap Peas

  1. That dish of peas and radishes looks so good. I love peas. I used to grow them mostly so I could stand in the garden and shell and eat them. 3 for me and 2 for the chickens. 🙂

  2. cocomino says:

    They look so healthy and yummy. Vegetables are very nice ingredients, you know. 🙂

  3. Robin says:

    Snow peas used to be my favorite edible pod pea. Now, I like the sugar snap much better. I could eat a whole basket full in the garden!

    Your dish looks and sounds wonderful as always Norma!

  4. leduesorelle says:

    Colorful combination with the radishes and sesame!

  5. Eva Taylor says:

    What a gorgeous summer salad, all you need is a little tofu and it’s a meal! I’m starving and this isn’t helping! I’m heading to the fridge for my celery fix.

  6. What a beautiful stir-fry, Norma. I’ll save it for next year, since peas are long gone in my neck of the woods.

  7. My garlic chives flower after the spring peas are pulled and before the fall peas start. I’ve already pulled half my snow peas.

  8. Those dishes look absolutely fantastic my friend 😀
    If there is one thing which truly gets me grinning it is delicious snowpeas!
    A great post!


  9. ChgoJohn says:

    Such a wonderful stir fry, Norma, made even better because you used the freshest ingredients possible. Yum!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Really cannot get any better, from the garden to the wok right away. Not this week though, got to harvest early in the morning to beat the heat, so harvest will be sitting around the whole day.

  10. Both your snow and sugar snap peas look delicious!

  11. Norma, I envy you: you have a beautiful and healthy salad, Your peas look so crisp. I am taking July off gardening as heat dried almost everything. Although by starting in January I was able to have a good harvest of tomatoes, some eggplants, cucumbers and abundance of herbs. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      We are having heat wave for quite a number of days now. Was away, returned yesterday While I was away it was HOT and DRY. My garden is suffering and I lack the time and energy to take care of it today, will try for early tomorrow morning.

  12. This looks so good! I love cooked radishes, and it’s always nice to learn new ways to make snow peas (I’m usually quite lazy and just stir fry them with a bit of salt). My peas have come and gone, but I’ll definitely remember this for next year!

  13. Liz says:

    If only I had some peas to make it with. My pea plants germinated fine but don’t seem to have liked the cold much and have stalled – those that haven’t been eaten by slugs and snails that is.

  14. My girls love sugar snap peas so I could see making this for them with a substitute for the radishes. I enjoyed learning about the difference between snow peas and sugar snap peas in your post Norma!

  15. I love snow peas and grew them for the first time this year. I must say they were the best snow peas I’ve ever had! The only thing is I wish I had planted more!

  16. Fresh from your own garden! Awesome!

  17. Dave's SFG says:

    Great tutorial, Norma. I used to preserve ginger this way but never thought to use the sherry wine in dishes. I’m lazy now and just use the Spice World ground fresh ginger. Keeps a long time in the fridge. When you use the chive flowers, are they the buds or do you wait until they flower? My Chinese chives don’t bloom until August and my peas will be long gone by then.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      No, I do not wait for the flowers to open, you want the bud stage. I run my fingers along the chive flower stalk and snap, now the whole stalk including the bud is edible.

  18. Charles says:

    Hi Norma – thanks for this post. I think sugar snap peas might actually be mis-sold in this case in England. I can’t really remember, it was a long time since I went grocery shopping in England but I’m sure I remember snow peas (we call them mangetout) being sold as sugar snap peas.

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