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Stir-Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic

Stir-Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic
Pea shoots, the curly tendrils and top pair of leaves of young green pea plants, have a delicate, sweet flavor. The only preparation they require is rinsing in cold water and drying in a salad spinner. Look for pea shoots in an Asian market; if they are unavailable, substitute spinach or watercress.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pea shoots
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. chicken stock
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Asian sesame oil, to taste

Directions:

Rinse the pea shoots in cold running water. Drain and dry in a salad spinner or thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.

Heat a wok over medium heat. When hot, add the oil, garlic, ginger and salt and toss and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high, add 2 or 3 handfuls of pea shoots, and toss and stir until wilted, about 30 seconds. Push the shoots up the sides of the wok and add another 2 or 3 handfuls. Toss and stir until wilted, about 30 seconds. Push the shoots up the sides of the wok and repeat until all the pea shoots have been added to the wok and cooked. If water accumulates in the bottom of the wok, push the shoots up the sides to allow the liquid to reduce. Add the stock and sugar and toss and stir until the liquid is reduced to a few tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with sesame oil.

Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Asian Flavors, by Joyce Jue (Time-Life Books, 1999).