Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pea Shoots for a Crowd

Jeffrey's and Naomi's cookbooks are more than repositories of recipes, they are also travelogues, one can get a feel for the history behind the people who enjoy the food. I've enjoyed those parts of their books just as much as the recipes that I have tried. And, this one has a great name. You can double or triple this recipe, our 'crowd' at Thanksgiving was just two people; if your wok or heavy pan is too small, stir-fry the pea shoots in several batches. The salt is very important to this dish, it brings out the flavour of the pea shoots. Too, we didn't cut our pea shoots, we ate the tough ends (though, now that I reread the recipe, I will do so in the future). Too, I think that the recipe calls for turmeric root; we didn't have any, so we substituted ground turmeric. This tasted great, nonetheless.

Pea Shoots for a Crowd
adapted from a recipe from Mangoes & Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
2-3 cups pea shoots loosely packed
2 tsp oil
1 dried red chili, stemmed
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Rinse the pea shoots thoroughly in a colander. Hold the greens a bundle at a time on your cutting board and chop them crosswise into 2-inch lengths; discard any coarse stems. Set aside.

Place a large wok over high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around a little. Toss in the dried chiles, garlic, and turmeric. Stir-fry for about 15 seconds, then add the greens; the water drops on them will sizzle nicely as they hit the hot pan. Sprinkle on the salt, then stir-fry, turning and tossing until all the greens have been exposed to the hot surface of the wok.

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