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Sugar Snap Peas

Everyday Food, June 2004

Try these sweet, tender vegetables in a salad, a side dish, or a stir-fry, or eat them raw as a snack.

What Are They?
A cross between snow peas and English (regular) peas, sugar snaps have a pod that contains small peas. The entire pea is edible, including the pod.

What to Look For
Sugar snap peas have a thicker shell than snow peas, and they are also plumper. The pods should be bright green and crisp (when broken in half, they should make a snapping sound, similar to green beans). They can be refrigerated for two or three days.

How to Cook Them
Snap peas are best eaten raw or briefly cooked, such as in stir-fries or quick sautes. For a simple side dish, steam or blanch snap peas, then season with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper.

Although stringless varieties are available, most sugar snap peas need to have the stringy seams removed before eating. You can usually use your fingers to do the job, but a paring knife works well on stubborn strings.

How to Remove the Strings
Snap off tough end with your fingers. Pull string along length of pod, then repeat to remove string from other side.