Snow peas, also known as Chinese pea pods are a popular vegetable used in stir-fries, salads and soups worldwide. It is a nutrient-dense legume that is low in carbohydrates and calories, and high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Snow peas can be eaten raw, steamed, or stir-fried, and have a crisp, slightly sweet flavor. In this article, we will discuss the proper way to clean snow peas to get the best taste and texture possible.
Cleaning Snow Peas: Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Rinse the Snow Peas in Cold Water
The first step in cleaning snow peas is to rinse them under cold water. By doing this, you will remove any dirt, debris or chemicals that may be present on the surface of the peas. Be sure to use a colander or strainer to prevent any loss of snow peas.
Step 2: Snap off the Stems and Trim the Ends of the Snow Peas
Once you have rinsed the snow peas, snap off the stems and trim the ends with a pair of kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. This step will help to remove any tough or stringy parts of the snow peas that may be present.
Step 3: Remove the Pea String if Necessary
Sometimes snow peas may have a tough, fibrous string that runs along the seam of the pod. This string should be removed before cooking. To do this, hold the pea pod by the stem with one hand and gently tug the string with the other hand. Repeat with the other side of the snow pea pod, and the string should easily come off.
Step 4: Blanche the Snow Peas
Blanching snow peas is an optional step, but it can help to brighten their color and make them crispier. To blanch snow peas, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the snow peas. Let them boil for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove them from the pot and immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain afterwards.
Step 5: Pat Dry the Snow Peas with a Clean Towel or Paper Towel
After blanching or rinsing snow peas, pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towel. This is important because it will remove any excess water from the snow peas, which can make them soggy when cooked. Ensure the snow peas are completely dry before cooking.
Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Snow Peas
Avoid Cutting Snow Peas with a Knife
When trimming snow peas, avoid using a knife as it may chop them unevenly or crush them. Use kitchen scissors or your hands to snap off the ends and remove the strings.
Use a Vegetable Peeler to Remove the Strings
If you find it challenging to remove the string with your hands, use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer layer on the seam of the snow pea. This method works well, especially for larger and tougher snow peas.
Store Snow Peas in a Plastic Bag in the Fridge
Ensure to store the snow peas properly to preserve their freshness. Place them in an airtight plastic bag and store them in the fridge for up to four days. Avoid washing them before storing as it may cause them to mold, rot or become soggy.
Prepare Snow Peas Ahead of Time
To save time, prepare snow peas ahead of time. Snap off the ends, remove the strings, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. This will save you time when you are ready to cook.
Cooking Snow Peas to Perfection
Once you have cleaned the snow peas, the next step is to cook them. Snow peas can be cooked in various ways, including stir-frying, sautéing, and steaming. Below are some tips for cooking snow peas to perfection.
Stir Fry Snow Peas
Stir-frying is a popular way of cooking snow peas. Heat your wok, add oil and let it become hot. Add the snow peas and stir-fry for about two minutes, then add garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook for about one minute until the snow peas are tender-crisp. Remove from heat and serve.
Steam Snow Peas
Steaming is a healthy way of cooking snow peas while preserving their bright green color and texture. Boil water in a pot, then add the snow peas to a steamer basket and place it over the pot. Cover and steam for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any excess water. Serve with some salt and butter.
FAQs About Cleaning Snow Peas
- How do I know if snow peas are fresh?
- Fresh snow peas are crisp, bright green and plump. They should not be wilted, yellow, or dried out.
- Do I have to remove the string from snow peas?
- Yes, it is essential to remove the string from snow peas to prevent them from becoming tough and inedible.
- Is it necessary to blanch snow peas?
- Blanching is an optional step that can help to brighten the color and crispiness of snow peas. If you prefer, you can skip this step.
- Can I freeze snow peas?
- Yes, you can freeze snow peas. After cleaning, blanch them for 2-3 minutes, then transfer them to ice water for about a minute. Drain the excess water and spread the snow peas on a baking sheet to freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to six months.
- How do I store snow peas correctly?
- Store snow peas in an airtight container or a plastic bag in the fridge for up to four days. Do not wash them before storing to prevent them from becoming soggy or moldy.
Cleaning snow peas is a vital step in preparing them for cooking. By following the steps above, you will be assured of the best taste and texture. Snow peas are a perfect addition to any meal, whether adding them to soups, salads, or stir-fries. We hope this article has provided you with some helpful tips and tricks for cleaning snow peas like a pro.