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Snow Pea Leaves Sauteed with Garlic

Snow Pea Leaves Sauteed with Garlic


Snow pea leaves are my favorite vegetable on the entire planet. Which is funny, because I absolutely cannot stand the taste of snow peas. How does that happen? I have no idea. But snow pea leaves are the most decadent vegetable in Cantonese cooking, in my opinion. Dishes of snow pea leaves range from simply being sauteed in garlic, to being topped with shredded crab meat and scallops.  The fact that someone decided to use something as extravagant as seafood to top a VEGETABLE means something’s special about it. And they are quite pricey for a vegetable too. At my Asian food market, they cost $4.50 a pound.  When searching for good leaves, find the ones without any tendrils growing out of the stalks, or at least any long tendrils.  Long tendrils seemed to mean they were older leaves, therefore they will cook up stringy and not as tender.

Snow pea leaves are incredibly sweet, with a hint of snow pea flavor. They just taste….fresh.  Different from all the other Chinese veggies, in that there isn’t any hint of bitterness.  And most people who have tried snow pea leaves for the first time actually say they crave this dish the next time they go to a Chinese restaurant.  Next time you go to a Chinese restaurant, ask them if they have pea leaves in season, because it might not be on the menu.

And here’s an important tip. See the picture above? With the thin tendrils growing out of the stalks?  Remove them. The tendrils don’t get tender after cooking, and are practically inedible.

Snow Pea Leaves Sauteed in Garlic

June 3, 2009
: easy


  • • Snow pea leaves, 1 bag
  • • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • • 2 Tbsp. Corn Oil
  • Step 1 Wash snow pea leaves, pat dry.
  • Step 2 In a wok on medium high, heat corn oil. Add crushed garlic, let cook for approx. 20 seconds.
  • Step 3 Add snow pea leaves. Stir fry to coat evenly in oil. Add salt. After about 3-4 minutes, the leaves will release more water into the wok.
  • Step 4 Put a lid on it for another 3-4 minutes. Serve.


Directions with Photos:

1) Wash snow pea leaves, pat dry.

2) In a wok on medium high, heat corn oil. Add crushed garlic, let cook for approx. 20 seconds.


3) Add snow pea leaves. Stir fry to coat evenly in oil. Add salt.  After about 3-4 minutes, the leaves will release more water into the wok.


4) Put a lid on it for another 3-4 minutes.


5) Serve.


17 thoughts on “Snow Pea Leaves Sauteed with Garlic”

  • This sounds like the perfect spring side dish. I love to sautee veggies with garlic and this looks like it would be perfect! I’ve never had snow pea leaves, but you’ve made me anxious to give them a try. Thanks!

  • Hi Rachael! I bet you’d have an easier time finding them where you are too. And the more garlic the better 🙂

  • candy this is rili refreshing and simple… being healthy is the best part 😀 Yumm!! Yumm!! m definitely gonna try this for dinner 🙂 btw nice photography as usual 🙂

  • Hey!
    This is my Favorite dish EVER!! But I usually use some chicken broth while steaming… just a thought! =)

  • Hey Erica! Thanks for commenting. I generally add some chicken broth for stir-frying too, especially for really bitter veggies (and for me, bok choy is really bitter). It adds depth to the flavor! 🙂

  • This looks great! Since I am growing my own snow pea leaves, how many pounds or cups would you say are in a “bag”.

  • Snow pea leaves commonly called just pea leaves is absolutely the BEST veggie in the whole world….and I adore greens! The best pea leaves in the US is at Han Dynasty in Philadelphia. Han just got three stars and now my favorite restaurant is packed!! I have traveled widely around the world and I told Han that his pea leaves were the singluar BEST vegetable I have ever eaten!! I had them in London too but couldn’t recognize them on the menu, but saw someone eating them and so I told the Chinese waitress “I want that!!”

  • Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have rooted the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian which encompasses Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Viet Nam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines; South Asian states that are made up of India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as several other countries in this region of the continent.;

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  • Do you know what they are called in Chinese? I haven’t been able to find them at my Asian market. And when are they “in season”?

  • I just finished harvesting my snow pea leaves. I ate all my snow peas and I am taking away the plants. I knew there was an Asia vegetable dish using the snow peas. I have tried this before but I was sure you could eat the leaves..Thanks, thank you…. your pictures are great and what a nutricious and easy recipe!!!!

  • We just had these for the first time last night and they were delicious! I’m not a big “leafy greens” fan due to the bitterness but these were not bitter at all.

    My wife cooked them with a bit of sesame oil, thinly sliced garlic, diced shrimp, a little worchestershire sauce, a little pork fat and salt and pepper.

  • I had these at my favorite Chinese barbeque restaurant in Austin, Texas after finally asking the waitress what it was that everyone was ordering that looked so wonderful. They are by far my favorite vegie and I love veggies. I finally found some very fresh at an Asian market and it’s about $5 to $6 a bag (about a pound). They are wonderful. This is exactly the way they serve them in the restaurant. Thanks!

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