If you can’t find pea shoots at your local market or store, don’t fret. They are easy to grow at home, and take about two weeks to mature once you plant them. A quick search on Al Gore’s internet will tell you everything you need to know about growing pea shoots. A popular way to prepare them is quickly stir-frying, but you can also eat them raw, like in this refreshing salad. It’s inspired by a dish at my friend Tiyo Shibabaw’s Burmese restaurant in Oakland, Teni East Kitchen. The bright flavors of the dressing combined with delicate pea shoots balance heavier dishes. Pea shoots have a chewy-grassy mouthfeel that may put some people off, but if you like watercress (which can be substituted for the pea shoots if they aren’t available), this is your salad.
creamy ginger dressing
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced shallot
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon white miso paste
1 teaspoon light agave nectar
2 tablespoons silken tofu
¼ cup safflower oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
10 ounces tender pea shoots
½ (2-pound) red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (2 lightly packed cups)
7 cilantro sprigs
½ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
¼ cup Garlic Chips
Freshly ground pepper
Make the dressing: In a blender, combine the ginger, shallot, garlic, vinegar, miso, agave, and tofu and blend briefly to combine. With the machine running, pour in the safflower oil through the hole in the lid and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the pea shoots, cabbage, cilantro, peanuts, and crispy garlic. Sprinkle lightly with salt and squeeze some lemon juice over the top. Toss to combine. Add enough dressing to coat and toss well. Season with pepper and serve immediately.