Snow Pea Leaves Stir Fry with Garlic and Dried Scallops

Snow pea leaves are my fav!

Snow pea leaves with garlic and dried scallops is hands down my favourite Chinese vegetable stir fry dish!

I love the texture of the vegetable that has the edible stems, leaves and tendrils. The tendrils is the threadlike shape that is used by climbing plants that is often a little curly. The vegetable is naturally sweet, stays vibrant after cooking, and is extra tasty with the garlicky umami based sauce. Learn to make this gourmet restaurant quality stir fry dish at home easily with a few preparations.

The sauce is simple which includes chicken stock, garlic and dried scallops and it pairs well with snow peas leaves.

Shopping for snow pea leaves

Snow pea leaves are also known as Chinese pea shoots or snow pea tips. When shopping for the vegetable, look for the “younger” ones with vibrant and healthy looking stems and tendrils. Avoid stems that are turning brown or overly wilted leaves, which may result in a slightly bitter taste after cooking.

Dried Scallops 

Dried scallops are a must to give the dish that extra umami umph! You can find them at Chinese herbal stores, or you can inquire on your next grocery trip to an Asian supermarket. I haven’t had to buy it before, as my parents normally give them to me. I like to freeze them, and only keep a small jar in my cupboards to keep it fresh. To use in a stir fry, you simply soak it in water to soften it first or you can throw them whole into soups. You can even saute them ahead of time and leave them in an air tight jar in your fridge for a few months.

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Dried scallops after they were soaked and the liquid drained

The dish has a reputation for being a fancy vegetable dish because of the price of the ingredients. In Toronto for example, snow pea leaves are more expensive per pound than many other vegetables including bok choy or yu choy, and dried scallops are known to be pricey. I like to buy a pound or two of the snow pea leaves when there is a good sale! 

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If you cannot get your hands on dried scallops, I would suggest stir frying with fresh or rehydrated shiitake mushrooms for that extra umami punch.

You can substitute the chicken stock for vegetable or mushroom stock for a fully vegetarian dish.

Stir fry technique

The technique for the stir fry is to cook the aromatics first including the dried scallops and garlic, before adding in the vegetables. Cooking the scallops not only dries out the texture but makes the flavour way more intense.


Seasoning and ingredients for the stir fry

It is best to use a large pan or wok that has a lid that can cook all the snow pea leaves at once, rather than in batches. In the photos below, you can see that the large mound of snow pea leaves looks like a lot. However, the leaves wilts down quickly.

Once all the vegetables are in the wok, the seasoning and chicken stock are added in. The lid helps to cook the vegetables and release the water from the snow pea leaves, which then becomes part of the sauce. It’s a quick dish to make once all the preparation work is done. 

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I have made this dish many times and the results are consistently delicious. Expect a garlicky sauce with that umami punch from the dried scallops that is incredible on rice. 

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Happy cooking and enjoy this restaurant quality dish at home!


Snow pea leaves stir fry

Other Stir Fry Recipes

  • Ong Choy/Tong Choy stir fry
  • Lotus root stir fry

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.