The Essence of Snow Peas in Cuisine
In the realm of crisp and flavorsome veggies, the chicken & snow pea delight stir-fry is an homage to the uniqueness of edible pea pods. Snow peas, central to Chinese culinary arts, are notably tenderer compared to sugar snap peas. Yet, each pea variety, with its distinct characteristics, seamlessly fits into diverse culinary creations, presenting a symphony of textures and tastes.
My childhood in the Catskills holds vivid recollections of snow peas – the spring soil turnovers, the planting of snow pea seeds, and watching them grow at a surprisingly quick pace. Using cut tree branches as trellises for the sprawling vines was an annual ritual. Those nostalgic moments of my mother collecting a basketful of these tender peas, post her workday, to grace our dinner table remain imprinted in my heart.
While many of our recipes showcase snow peas as a flavorful addition, they can undoubtedly be the star. By opting out of chicken, you can have a delightful stir-fry of just the snow peas as a quick side dish.
Crafting the Marinade:
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oil
The Main Event:
- 2 chicken breasts (12 ounces, cut into strips)
- 1/3 cup chicken broth (or water)
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 pound snow peas (cleaned and trimmed)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly milled white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- Whisk together cornstarch, light soy sauce, and oil for the marinade. Incorporate the chicken pieces well. Separately, blend the hot water or chicken broth with cornstarch to make a slurry. If you’re in the mood for more sauce, adjust the water/broth quantity and seasonings accordingly.
- Ignite the wok until it sends off smoke signals. Pour in the oil and lay out the chicken pieces uniformly. Let them achieve a golden hue for about a minute without disturbing. As you stir, blend in the garlic and snow peas, then splash shaoxing wine to deglaze, using a bottom-to-top movement for an even mix.
- Continual movement ensures that snow peas receive even heat. As they start showcasing their vibrant green, speedily introduce the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and a touch of sugar.
- Revive your slurry mixture and pour it into the wok. Keep the stir-fry alive for another half a minute till the sauce reaches a velvety texture. Your pea pods should radiate a bright green. Remember, overcooking is a sin here – you want to retain that fresh crunch!
- Serve this visual and culinary treat straight away, preferably with fluffy steamed rice.
Did You Know?
Snow peas are not just delightful to the palate but are also packed with health benefits. Rich in vitamins and minerals, they offer an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and dietary fiber. Integrating them into your meals not only elevates the flavor profile but also supports your wellness journey. The combination of chicken, a lean protein, with nutrient-dense snow peas makes this dish a balanced and wholesome choice.