Three Peas with Barley, Chili and Green Garlic

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4

Pea shoots are the young, tender tips and vines of the snow pea or the sugar snap pea plant. Once your plants are established and producing an abundance of pods, clip off leaf and tendril sections about 4 inches long. If you don’t have your own plants, look for these tender shoots at farmers’ markets or Asian grocery stores. Sambal oelek (or ulek) is an Indonesian chili paste, and tart, citrusy kaffir lime leaves are used in Southeast Asian cooking. Look for both products in Asian markets.


  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup shelled English peas
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek or other pure chili paste
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green garlic, or 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves
  • About 1/4 lb. pea shoots


Bring a large saucepan half full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the snap peas and English peas and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a colander and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Return the water in the saucepan to a boil, add the barley and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, the 2 Tbs. water, brown sugar and sambal oelek until blended. Set aside.

In a large, heavy fry pan over high heat, warm the sesame oil. Add the green garlic, green onions and lime leaves and stir-fry until the green onions are tender, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved snap peas, English peas and barley along with the pea shoots and stir to coat. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and stir and toss until the peas and pea shoots are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Garden Cookbook, by Jeanne Kelley (Weldon Owen, 2013).

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