Bet you never thought about spicy peas! As you know, peas are not one of the Accidental Locavore’s favorite vegetables, just sort of a benign side dish.This recipes elevates them into the very interesting (and almost-worth-shelling) arena. You will need the zest of the lime, so do that before you juice it. Serves 4:
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (more or less to taste)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed
- 1 trimmed stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
- 1 teaspoon finely-grated lime zest
In a food processor, or mini chopper, pulse the jalapeño, lemongrass, and onion until finely chopped.
In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass mixture and stir-fry until soft, about 1 minute. Add the peas and the fish sauce mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime zest, serve and enjoy!
My verdict: The most time consuming part of this recipe is shelling the peas, so unless you have a bunch from your CSA (like I did), frozen is the way to go here. These were really good and might actually make a pea fan out of me! I had a bag full of chopped lemongrass that my mother had given me from her local Asian grocery, so I just used a couple of tablespoons of that. Because it was already chopped, I didn’t bother to use the food processor and just finely chopped the jalapeño and onion (one less appliance to wash). Because fish sauce varies from brand to brand, it’s better to go a little easy with it at the beginning and add more later, to taste. Ditto the jalapeño and lime juice. Some finely-chopped ginger would be nice with this and it would probably also work well with other veggies, like broccoli, or eggplant.