how to stir fry green peas stay hard | Family Cuisine

How to Stir Fry Green Peas Stay Hard Green peas are a healthy addition to any meal, but if you want them to stay hard, cook them in boiling water for two minutes before adding them to your dish.
how to stir fry green peas stay hard | Family Cuisine

This comforting, classic Shanghai dish – green peas stir fry – is quick, easy, and absolutely satisfying served as a side or a main dish! {Gluten-Free}

Green peas stir fry close up

Growing up in Beijing, I was exposed to Shanghainese cuisine early on as a child. The cuisine is so widely adored for many reasons. For example, the abundant seafood dishes, delicate soup dumplings and scrumptious pan fried buns, and various ways to cook with vegetables.

Reading: how to stir fry green peas stay hard

Among all the dishes, one of my favorites is this very simple green peas stir fry dish that comes together super-fast for a truly satisfying meal.

Green peas stir fried with Spam and bamboo shoot

Why this recipe

Traditionally, green peas stir fry is made with Chinese ham. It’s a type of cured meat that is very similar to prosciutto. The ham will add tons of flavor to the dish, making a simple veggie dish taste extra rich and satisfying.

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However, in the US, Chinese ham is a hard ingredient to find if you do not live near a Chinese market. Plus, it can be quite expensive. So we tested out different kinds of ham as substitutes.

We tried cooking with Chinese ham, prosciutto, ham steak, and spam. Prosciutto didn’t work out well, and ended up with a less appealing dish that was kinda greasy. The Chinese ham and ham steak both worked, but Spam was the clear winner.

The recipe below works with Chinese ham and ham steak as well, but you will need to adjust the salt level accordingly.

Shanghai green peas with ham


In my recipe for green peas stir fry, I’ve added bamboo shoots. They give the dish a great texture and are very delicious. Though you can leave them out if you’d rather keep things simple. And speaking of simple, we used frozen peas in this dish. But if you happen to have fresh peas, you can blanch them until they’re al dente and then make this dish according to the recipe.

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Again, if you’re not a Spam fan, you can use any type of ham you like. Ham or ham steak would work best in terms of texture though. You may need to adjust the amount of chicken powder or salt you use with your choice of ham, since some varieties are saltier than others. Be sure to give things a taste before you add these seasonings to your liking, so you don’t wind up with something too salty.

Ingredients for making green peas stir fry

Cooking process

Cooking green peas stir fry couldn’t be easier.

  1. Pan fry the Spam so it’s lightly browned
  2. Add the ginger and bamboo shoots, then cook a bit more
  3. Add the seasonings and water, and braise for a few minutes
  4. Swirl in the cornstarch slurry and it’s done!
Green peas stir fry cooking step-by-step

Whatever type of meat you choose to use in this peas stir fry, you will find yourself with a comforting and filling dish that you can make in just 11 minutes, including prep and cook time. It’s originally a side dish, but it can work as a nice lunch if you serve it over rice.

Green peas with Spam and bamboo shoot close up

More delicious veggie recipes

  • Crispy Fried Pumpkin with Salted Egg Yolk
  • Winter Melon Stir Fry
  • Mapo Eggplant (麻婆茄子)
  • Bok Choy Soup
  • Celtuce Leaves Salad (凉拌莴笋叶)

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

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