There’s a lot to love about this quick dish. Done right, not to mention the pea shoots will taste sweet but also stay crunch. Plus, simple and straight forward are its variations.

Pea shoots, also known as pea sprouts, are the tender tips of snow peas. Because of their delicate texture, they don’t like to be cooked for too long. Apart from stir-frying them fast in a wok (which is always a good vessel for doing quick flipping and turning), I’d always try to drain dry the pea shoots first thus enabling them to have maximum contact with the oil as soon as they hit the well-heated wok.

About 150 to 200 grams of pea shoots shall make a good side for two. Their volume may expand quite a bit when ‘drinking up’ water during rinsing. But they may also shrink several times in less than a minute when being heated.

Pea shoots are best during winter and when the weather is dry. If you are permitted to touch the vegetable during your purchase, check if that pair of small leaves at the tip (often enclosed in larger leaves) are green and vibrant. If they are not fresh or spoiled by rain (or high humidity), the color may turn yellowed or even bruised.

To have pea shoots cooked with garlic is already a lovely stir-fry, but when I really want to get my taste buds excited, I would spend just a couple minutes more to make this different version, with or without the add of cured ham.

To impress your guests further, you may even add crab meat to the sauce, which is what most gourmet-style restaurants will do – but you may also be surprised by the bill too!

Pea Shoots with Cured Ham, Wok-Fried

Rinse pea shoots well in several changes of water. Drain dry in a colander, or you may also use a salad spinner to spin dry.

Heat wok and oil over medium heat. When hot, lower heat a bit, add garlic and sauté until lightly brown. Then, adjust heat to high, throw in pea shoots, flipping and turning to coat evenly with the oil, about one minute. Splash in wine on side of wok in between.

As soon as the pea shoots start to wilt, remove heat and add salt to taste. Dish up pea shoots.

With same wok on medium heat, mix and pour in ingredients (except egg white and corn starch) for sauce. Bring it to a boil; add in corn starch mixture little by little, stirring well with a turner to avoid any lumps, until it form a lightly thickened consistency.

Turn heat to low, gradually pour in beaten egg with one hand and stirring the sauce with the turner in another.

As soon as the egg white is set (more or less like this), heat off. Pour the sauce over the pea shoots in dish and top it with tossed ham. Serve hot.

Note: To toss the ham, I used the same way as this recipe.

This content was originally published here.