Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Salt and pepper are also commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are also used in pot pies, salads and casseroles. Pod peas (particularly sweet cultivars called mange tout and sugar peas, or the flatter “snow peas,” called hé lán dòu, 荷兰豆 in Chinese) are used in stir-fried dishes, particularly those in American Chinese cuisine. Pea pods do not keep well once picked, and if not used quickly are best preserved by drying, canning or freezing within a few hours of harvest.

Stir-fried Peas


2 lb. fresh peas or 1 10-oz. package frozen tiny green peas
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of red pepper
1 lb. beef , break into small pieces
1 1/2 c. finely bamboo shoots
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 tbsp. water



1. If you have fresh peas, shell just before using.

2. Place all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and stir gently.

3. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until peas are tender. (For frozen peas, cover tightly and cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Then stir with a fork to break up any remaining frozen peas. Replace cover and cook 3 to 7 minutes longer or until peas are tender.)

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves 4