These crunchy, sweet and refreshing sugar snap peas are served with a traditional Japanese onion and sesame dressing that’s nutty and savory. They can be served as a side to other Japanese inspired dishes or as a chilled side to a light lunch or dinner.
What Are Sugar Snap Peas?
Sugar snap peas – or just snap peas – are a cross between snow peas (Chinese pea pods) and garden peas (English peas). They have a rounded, plump shape, a crisp exterior texture and an overall sweet, vegetal flavor.
While the pods are crisp, the peas inside are very tender. Low in calories and high in fiber, this legume is also rich in folic acid, vitamin C and calcium.
Is it OK to Eat Sugar Snap Peas Raw?
The whole pod is edible – and can be eaten raw. That includes both the crisp outer pod and and the tender peas inside.
However, for this easy recipe, I like to blanch them quickly. We’ll talk about why and how to do it in a sec.
How to Trim Sugar Snap Peas
Most snap peas have a tough fibrous string that runs along the top and bottom seams (very similar to snow peas). While technically edible, those strings aren’t pleasant to eat. However they’re very easy to remove.
- Hold the snap pea with the inside of the curve facing up (like a smile)
- Take a paring knife and make a small cut at one stem end – and pull along the seam from end to end
- Then flip the snap pea, and repeat the process on the bottom side
- Here’s a quick video of the process
Don’t skip this easy but crucial step! Those tough strings at the seams are not nice to eat.
Ingredients for Sugar Snap Peas With Sesame Dressing
- Snap Peas: Use fresh snap peas that are bright green and look firm and rounded. A few blemishes are OK. But steer clear of snap peas that are starting to wilt or turn yellow or brown. Remember to trim the ends of the stems to remove the fibrous strings from the seams.
- Minced Shallots: These deliver a delicate sweetness and a hint of sharpness to the dressing. One small shallot should net you around two tablespoons once minced. If you don’t have shallots on hand, use an equal amount of minced onion.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sesame Oil: Sesame oil imparts a toasted, nutty quality to the dressing – and elevates the savoriness of the soy sauce. When it comes to olive oil, use first press extra virgin olive oil. Trust me, you’ll taste the difference.
- Chinkiang Vinegar: This is Chinese black vinegar. It imparts a slight fruity sweetness with an edge of umami. It’s in the same general ballpark as balsamic vinegar – however, not nearly as sweet. Grab chinkiang vinegar on Amazon.
- Soy Sauce: Shoyu is the universal bringer of umami! It’s the main source of savoriness in this simple dressing. Although you can use a teaspoon of tamari or liquid aminos instead if you prefer.
- Salt: You’ll want salt for both the dressing – and for salting your blanching water. For the dressing, use kosher salt. The larger salt crystals make oversalting your dressing less likely than using an equal amount of table salt. For the blanching water, feel free to use kosher salt, table salt or sea salt.
- Sesame Seeds: These add a bit of texture and nuttiness to this snap pea salad (and they look great nestled against all that bright green from the snap peas).
How To Blanch Sugar Snap Peas
Aside from assembling the dressing, blanching your snap peas is just about the only cooking you’ll have to do for this fresh and easy recipe.
Blanching is a simple process of quickly boiling the snap peas – and then shocking them immediately after in an icy cold water bath. Not only does it mildly soften the peas, it brightens the green color significantly. You’re left with a perfectly balanced texture that can be summed up as crisp tender.
- Fill a medium sized bowl with cold water and plenty of ice and set it aside
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to boil on the stovetop
- Once the water is boiling, add your snap peas and boil for 2 minutes
- Then drain the boiled snap peas and immediately immerse them in the ice bath – and let them sit there for 5 minutes
- Finally drain the chilled sugar snap peas and pat them dry with a paper towel
How To Make Sugar Snap Peas With Sesame Dressing
- Gather all of your cooking tools and ingredients.
- Blanch, shock and dry the snap peas (follow the step by step instructions for blanching just above – or in the recipe card).
- Assemble the sesame dressing. Add the minced shallot (or onion), olive oil, sesame oil, chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, kosher salt and sesame seeds to a small bowl and mix well.
- Serve. Place the snap peas in a serving bowl or plate and top with the dressing.
What to Serve With This Recipe
While these zesty and crisp snap peas are good on their own, I typically like to serve them as a simple side dish to a protein of some sort. They pair so well with fish and tofu. Here are a couple ideas:
And check out these other delicious and easy Asian veggie dishes
How to Store Leftovers
- Refrigerate any leftover sesame snap peas inside an airtight container for 2 to 3 days
- Since these crunchy sugar snap peas are served cold, there’s no need to reheat prior to serving
Did you try this sugar snap peas with sesame dressing recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Dressing
These crunchy, sweet and refreshing snap peas are served with a traditional Japanese onion and sesame dressing that’s nutty and savory.
- 8 oz sugar snap peas
- 2 tablespoons onion or shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chinkiang vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Fill a medium size bowl with water and plenty of ice. Set aside.
- Add all the ingredients for the onion sesame dressing to a bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Bring a small pot of salted water to boil.
- Add the sugar snap peas and boil for 2 minutes.
- Drain and add the sugar snap peas to the ice bath. After 5 minutes, drain the sugar snap peas and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Transfer the sugar snap peas to a serving plate or shallow bowl and top with the dressing. Serve.