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How to Cook With Pea Shoots and Tendrils

In Season: Pea Shoots

Late Spring and early Summer aren't just ripe for freshly shucked pea seeds — they're also a wonderful time to enjoy the sweet flavor of other pea parts, too. While dou miao, as they're known in Mandarin, have always made regular appearances at Chinese and Hmong supermarkets, they're becoming increasingly common at American farmers markets as well.

Two offerings to look out for: the microgreens known as pea shoots (sprouts), or sprouted peas grown in water, characterized by long stems and tiny leaves. Then there are pea tendrils, the young, tender top leaves and tips of a pea plant that's been grown in soil. More on what to do with this delicate plant when you read ahead.

These greens are a pleasant alternative to other dark, leafy greens such as spinach, and have a distinctive pea flavor and none of the bite of other small, leafy greens, such as watercress. Look for tender, small, young growth starting right about now; store them in the refrigerator and use within a couple of days, before leaves wilt or become tough and discolored. To prepare pea shoots or leaves, rinse them carefully in cool water and dry off with a clean towel, removing any that are stringy or off in color.


A few ways to work with both pea shoots and tendrils:

Have you ever cooked pea shoots or leaves at home? What do you make with them?

Source: Flickr User sleepyneko

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Dana18 Dana18 5 years
Had them my salad today! Love the vitamins and enhery they give me!
GummiBears GummiBears 5 years
This is interesting. I should keep my eyes open for them.
EvieJ EvieJ 5 years
I love pea shoots, love love love them. They're just so fresh. I usually eat them like lovesitc1 does, with a few tomato slices and some dressing, and I also eat them alone with a spritz of fresh lemon juice. Yum. Must go look for some
lovesitc1 lovesitc1 5 years
I adore pea shoots! Something about them, bursting with the freshness of the season, makes me feel so healthy to eat them. I typically add them to my salads. I've even just eaten a bowlful of pea or sunflower shoots with nothing but a few tomato slices and a bit of salad dressing. So simple and so good!
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