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Stir-Fried Calamari and Pea Shoots

Pea shoots are the delicate leaves and tendrils that grow from the vines of the pea plant. Tender and sweet, they are delicious when eaten raw or sautéed. Look for them at the farmers’ market in the spring and early summer. Here they are flash-cooked in a hot pan with tender squid rings and tentacles, along with Asian flavors like soy sauce, chili paste and toasted sesame oil.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 lb. green pea shoots, tough parts removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3/4 lb. cleaned squid, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Cooked rice for serving (optional)

Directions:

In a wok or large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the peanut oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pea shoots and green onions and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the broth, salt and pepper and cook until the pea shoots are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, chili paste, sugar and sesame oil.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm the remaining 2 Tbs. peanut oil. Add the squid and stir-fry until opaque, about 2 minutes. Return the pea shoots to the pan, add the soy sauce mixture and stir-fry, tossing to combine and heat through, about 1 minute. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the greens and squid to a platter. Serve immediately over rice. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).