Pea shoots, the young, tender leaves and curly, delicate tendrils of the English pea plant, are making an
appearance at farmers’ markets this month in many parts of the United States. Take advantage of their
relatively brief season by eating them raw or cooked in fast-cooking dishes like stir-fries. Choose pea shoots that are bright green and show no sign of wilting, and be sure to remove any yellowed or tough stems before using. This simple stir-fry can also be made with rice or udon noodles, or it can be served over steamed brown or white rice.
Pea Shoots and Shiitake Mushrooms with Soba Noodles
1/2 lb. (250 g) dried soba noodles
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbs. oyster sauce
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
3 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 green onions, light green and white parts only, chopped
3/4 lb. (375 g) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
3 cups (3 oz./90 g) pea shoots
1/3 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped
Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse the noodles under cold water and set aside.
In a bowl, stir together the chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch.
In a wok or large frying pan over high heat, warm the canola oil and sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and green onions and cook, stirring constantly, just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the shiitakes and sauté until softened and browned on the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the oyster sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and toss to coat with the sauce. Add the pea shoots and cook, stirring, just until wilted.
Remove from the heat, stir in the basil and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Find more seasonal, vegetable-focused dishes in our
cookbook Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan.