Making a meal with a lot of restrictions is a challenge. I had decided on my main dish and a starchy side, but just a bit of lettuce did not seem enough green vegetables for this meal. Normally, my vegetable side would include lots of onions and garlic, but today these ingredients are out of bounds. What was I to do?
Since my menu had developed a South Asian flavor, I decided that sautéed snow peas would be a good idea, but with no garlic and onions to spice them up I was going to have to get creative. Adding spicy red radishes to the peas came to mind, so I went looking for what others had done with similar ingredients. This recipe came close to what I had in mind, and with a bit of tweaking it could work for me.
Karl’s Sautéed Snow Peas with Red Radishes
9 oz. snow peas
½ cup red radishes, quartered
¼ cup cilantro stems, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger cut into match sticks
1 Tbs. fish sauce
¼ tsp. lemon grass powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbs. peanut oil
1. Remove the tough strings along the backs of the snow peas.
Tip: Peas have a front and a back edge, the back being the thicker side, which has a tough fibrous string running along it. Pinch the front side of the pod’s stem end—about a ¼ inch down—so that the fibrous string is still attached and pull down to peel it off.
2. Cut the radishes, pole to pole, into smaller pieces.
Tip: Cut into quarters for small radishes, and into sixths or eights for larges radishes.
3. Measure the ginger, fish sauce, lemon grass, pepper, and salt into a small cup and set it aside.
Tip: Stir frying goes very quickly, you will not want to be measuring and adding things at the last minute as your vegetables are over cooking.
4. Heat the oil in a sauté pan, over medium high heat, and add the radishes.
5. Sear the radishes, undisturbed, for 1-2 minutes, until they are picking up some color on their bottom sides.
Tip: Pick one up occasionally to check on their color.
6. Add the snow peas and minced cilantro.
7. Stir fry the vegetables for 2-3 minutes, until the radishes are translucent and the peas are turning dark green.
8. Add the sauce from the cup and toss to coat the vegetables.
9. Sauté for one minutes more and transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl.
10. Serve immediately.