Not to be confused with snow peas, sugar snap peas, also known as just snap peas, is a fuller bodied pod vegetable highly popular in Chinese cuisine. Unlike the thin, flat snow pea, sugar snap peas have a thicker, voluminous body with more pronounced ends. These ends allow for easing stringing, or removal of the tough, fibrous string that often flanks both sides of the pod (see picture above on the right side).

Growing in vines, this fibrous vegetable is fond of cool temperatures. Sugar snap peas are high in Vitamins C, K and B6. Low in calories, high in fiber- this mildly sweet vegetable makes for a great ice breaker with children who are not fond of other greens.

Commonly used in stir-fries and salads, sugar snap peas are very easy to cook with, though stringing may take a little bit of patience. Bear in mind that without the procedure of removing those pesky side strings, you’ll end up chewing on this vegetable for a long time and probably end up spitting out the too-fibrous string. Snap peas cook very, very quickly so beware if you’re stir-frying with other ingredients that may have a much longer cooking time.

Typically, in a stir-fry, after touching a hot wok or pan, snap peas are done cooking in just about 1 minute. They should retain their juicy crunch; if they’re soggy or falling apart, you’ve cooked them too long.

Our favorite recipe with snap peas:

Tofu Quinoa Stir-Fry