Quick-cooked Pea Shoots

Niloufer Ichaporia King learned this method from a family in the Seychelles, where it is a very popular way of cooking greens. It works with any kind of greens, and it's a good way to test out a new find from the farmers' market (amaranth greens, for instance, are excellent cooked like this). If greens are tough, blanch them first. Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes. Notes: Pea shoots are available seasonally at farmers' markets (generally February through early June) and at Asian markets under their Chinese name, dou miao. "Pea shoots" can refer to either tiny new sprouts or the tendriled top greens of a mature plant. We've chosen the larger greens here, but sprouts would be fine too.

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 236
  • Calories from fat: 22%
  • Protein: 13g
  • Fat: 5.6g
  • Saturated fat: 0.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 43g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 357mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg


  • 1 to 2 lbs. pea shoots (see Notes) or watercress
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 fresh red or green arbol, Thai, or serrano chile, stem on and slit lengthwise; or 1 dried arbol or cayenne chile
  • 6 quarter-size slices peeled fresh ginger, cut into thin slivers


  1. Wash pea shoots and trim any tough stems. Heat oil in a wok or large, heavy frying pan over high heat. Throw in salt, whole chile, and ginger. When ginger starts to sear, immediately add pea shoots. Cook, moving constantly with tongs so that they cook evenly, 1 to 2 minutes, or just until thoroughly wilted. Serve immediately, with whole chile on top of greens or set aside.
  2. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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