While I was running errands the other day, I couldn’t figure out why I felt like I was hungover. I hadn’t had a drop of alcohol since New Year’s Eve. But when I got home and threw myself on the couch, I realized it was because I had picked up the bug my sister had during the holidays. Ugh. Isn’t it funny how you forget what being sick feels like when you haven’t been sick in a while? Why is my head pounding? Why does my entirebodyache? Why does my throat feel sooo scratchy? Hmmm…
When I’m under the weather, there isn’t much I really want to eat due to my taste buds going whacky. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about greens. I took that as a sign that my body needed veggies. So I headed to the farmers’ market. But in my haze of sickness I found myself driving towards New Chinatown instead and ended up at one of the markets there. I knew exactly what I wanted.
I headed straight for the produce aisle and picked out a bag of pea shoots. I love pretty much all Chinese greens, but pea shoots (dou miao) are most definitely my fave. When sautéed they are something like spinach, but with a little more body, a bit more texture and crunch.
This is the kind of thing you want to eat at the start of the new year – simple, healthy, fresh, green. Pea shoots are a great alternative to your usual sautéed greens. They are very nice over a bowl of steamed rice or alongside fish or shrimp or chicken. I’ll be eating lots of them this season.
garlic pea shoots
1 pound pea shoots, washed
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (any mild flavor oil is fine)
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed then chopped
1/2-inch nub of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
ground white pepper
In a large saute pan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shiny looking, add the garlic and shake the pan constantly to cook until softened and barely golden.
Add the ginger and cook for another minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the pea shoots to the pan and toss in the oil and garlic to coat thoroughly. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently so that the greens wilt evenly. Add soy sauce and white pepper to taste and serve immediately.