Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pea Tendrils

The tips of your pea plants are an amazing delicacy. While I am picking these from my garden you can find these marvels at Asian grocers. Purchase at least twice as much weight as you need because you will need to discard the lower tougher leaves and stalks. I know this sounds like a waste, if you can compost, do so, but using only the tenderest part of the tendrils is optimal.  The first time I tried these darlings I was with my pal Estelle and we were at Ollie’s Noodle Shop on 44th St. in the heart of the theatre district. As an aside Ollie’s is a great spot to pop into when hitting the theatre without making it “A NIGHT”. Great soups, stir fry’s, duck. Anyway, Estelle ordered one of the specials, this pea tendril stir fry and I crave it ever since.

Nutritionally, they are loaded with A, more C than blueberries, folic acid and caratenoids like beta carotene.

For cooking and experimenting you can treat the tendrils much like you would spinach. Saute’ them and place under a nice piece of broiled salmon cooked with a Sweet Chili Glaze like outlined on Add them to a Pho or Chinese Soup. Sauté them and add to an omelet or make them the way The Cialntropist does and use them as a base for an Orange, Feta and oil cured Olive Salad.    Sautéed with garlic (again, the garlic) and add your favorite pasta. I believe the key to these beauties is simplicity, so please try them and please experiment.

As for me, I am stir frying them with garlic & ginger and eating them with a bowl of steamed rice. Perfectly simple, perfectly heaven.

Garlic Ginger Stir Fried Pea Tendrils


  • Wok or sauté’ pan
  • Long handeled spoons
  • Large holed grater or microplane.
  • Spatter guard (if you have one)

  • 6 Cups Pea Tendrils (triple washed to remove –sorry- garden bugs….organic has its price….)
  •  4 cloves garlic grated
  •  Thumb sized piece of peeled freshest ginger – grated
  •  Plain oil like Grapeseed, Safflower, Canola or even a light vegetable oil.
  •  Salt


  1. Heat oil till wavy in appearance. If you can work quickly then grate the ginger into the oil and then the garlic. Stir a moment to release fragrance.
  2. Add your tendrils; being careful to avoid the popping of hot oil when water meets it (the spatter guard comes in handy here).
  3. Once tendrils are coated with ginger garlic oil, keep moving steadily till greens are adequately wilted.
  4. Serve with steamed Jasmine Rice!

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