Pea tendrils, also called pea shoots, are the leafy, tender stem portion of young pea plants. We use small, delicate tendrils, which can be eaten raw. If the pea tendrils you choose are too firm, you might need to cook them with the cabbage mixture for up to 6 minutes. If you can't find tendrils, use mâche or spinach. Shrimp paste—made from salted, fermented ground shrimp—is a condiment common in Southeast Asian cooking. Look for it at Asian markets, or use anchovy paste instead. We use thin rice stick noodles in this dish. Use vermicelli if they are unavailable, and cook according to package directions.
1/3 cup coarsely chopped peeled fresh lemongrass (about 2 stalks)
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons shrimp paste or anchovy paste
3 to 4 Thai chiles, halved and seeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
4 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage (1 small head)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green onions, divided
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, thawed
1 pound sea scallops, halved horizontally
4 cups pea tendrils, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 pound)
How to Make It
Cook noodles in boiling water 1 1/2 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain and place in a large bowl.
Combine cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through shallots) in a food processor; process until a paste forms. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add cilantro mixture to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in sugar, soy sauce, salt, and milk. Add cabbage and 1 1/4 cups onions to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and scallops; cook 3 minutes or until scallops are done. Remove pan from heat; stir in noodles. Spoon 1 1/4 cups noodle mixture into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons remaining onions and 1/2 cup pea tendrils.