Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Photo credit: Serious Eats
A "Tip" for Pea Lovers from the Kitchen of Christine Chen

My mom used to have a hard time getting me to eat these as a kid, but now I can’t get enough of them! Go beyond the expected, basic peas and the ubiquitous split pea soup recipe, and you may discover something seriously Asian and simply wonderful. Most commonly found in East Asian (especially Chinese) cooking, snow pea tips are the tender leaves and stems of mature snow pea plants. 

These dark, leafy greens — considered among the most nutritious of all the veggies — are a good source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and beta carotene. They don’t need much to be incredibly flavorful. 

Pea tips are best found at Asian grocery stores year-round, if you’re lucky enough to be near one. If there’s not a pea tip to be found, you can easily substitute pea sprouts, usually found next to the snow peas at the market. Choose pea tip clusters with smaller and thinner stems; compost the thick stems (they’ll be tougher to eat and not as sweet). At a Chinese restaurant, sometimes you can ask for pea tips off-menu, which will likely delight the wait staff!

Snow pea tips, stir fried in a wok
Photo credit: Serious Eats

Got them at home? A quick stir and swish in the wok, and snow pea tips are good to go. Common seasonings include garlic, ginger, sesame, and honey (all in moderation; I would choose no more than two of those at a time). 

Here’s a super simple recipe from my family’s kitchen to yours. As the fall arrives, these dark, leafy pea tips are also a warming, grounding vegetable side that can compliment any meal. To be honest, I can eat just this over rice (possibly with an egg) and be seriously satisfied. Enjoy! 

Seriously Simple Asian Pea Tips 

Prep time 5 minutes 


Makes 4-6 servings

  • One pound (or a little more) of pea tips 
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (best for high heat; or sub canola oil) 
  • Two garlic cloves, crushed or minced 
  • 1-2 tbsp water 
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or sub tamari, liquid aminos, or Japanese citrus ponzu) 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)


  1. Heat a wok (or large skillet) to medium-high heat. 
  2. Add cooking oil, and swirl around the wok. 
  3. Add garlic and stir lightly.
  4. Add pea tips. Stir and toss for two minutes. 
  5. Add moisture with water and continue to stir. 
  6. Drizzle soy sauce (or your option) around the pea tips in the wok. 
  7. Stir until slightly wilted, but not soft. 
  8. Serve on a dish with residual liquid and drizzle with sesame oil lightly after plating.


Christine Chen

Christine Chen is the host of Esalen Live! and Senior Content Producer. Christine is a two-time Emmy winning journalist, a best-selling author, California native, and yoga teacher's teacher (ERYT500, ERYT300, YACEP) on Esalen Faculty.