This Chicken Stir Fry with Sugar Snap Peas and Shishito Peppers is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner served with rice. Less than 30 minutes to prepare.
If you enjoy growing vegetables in your back yard, July can be an exciting month. Lots of vegetables are ready for harvesting at this time well into the fall/autumn. Both Ro-Ri San and I have been patiently nurturing our vegetable garden since our return from Asia second week of May. The vegetables have really grown in these 2½ months and we were eager to do some harvesting.
Sugar Snap Peas or Are they?
The pea pods look juicy and ready to be picked. Even though the plants appear to be smaller this year, there should be enough crunchy pea pods for one stir fry. They look so plump and fresh. Mixed with some mild shishito peppers, it should be an amazing stir fry, or so I thought.
I was all excited as I prepared to cook the first harvest from our new vegetable garden. Super fresh produce require very little cooking. In fact, the simpler the preparation the better. The idea is to taste the freshness of the produce and not to over cook it or drown it in a ton of sauce.
This Chicken Stir Fry was looking great in the work and I was very happy at how it turned out visually. The kitchen smelled wonderful. After a quick photo shoot, we were ready to sit down for dinner. We were in for a surprise…
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- 20 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs (560g)
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shao Hsing cooking wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 oz sugar snap peas (stringed) (225g)
- 4 oz shishito peppers (cut into ½ inch pieces) (112g)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
- Combine chicken, ground pepper, soy sauce, Shao Hsing rice wine, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large fry pan. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Fry sugar snap peas and shishito peppers for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the wok. Fry minced garlic for 30 seconds. Add marinated chicken thighs and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Return sugar snap peas and shishito peppers to the wok. Stir to mix. Season with a little salt if desired.
- Pour in corn starch mixture and continue to stir. Sauce will thicken. Turn off stove.
- Remove and serve immediately with steamed rice.
An Honest Mistake
Have you ever planted something thinking it was some other kind of plant? Well, I have to admit that this is the first time it has ever happened to me. There is always a first time, right? It is not like I have never planted sugar snap peas before and so I kept wondering why these pea plants are kind of short. They fitted inside the 3 feet tall Portable Flower Garden Greenhouse. Why are they not growing taller as they should like the ones in my Minnesotan Garden? Perhaps they are better suited for Minnesota. I continue to rationalize that I am presently in Colorado and the weather conditions are different and so these plants will grow differently.
Thinking back, the smart thing to do would be to check the packaging again but it did not occur to me to do so until I had tasted them. I was so sure I had bought the right kind of seeds. As it turned out, sugar Snap Peas can grow to between 6 to 8 feet tall while sweet peas only grow to 3 feet tall…sigh! They look similar except that sweet peas have thicker pods which are not good to eat. Sugar snap peas are a cross between sweet peas and snow peas producing thinner edible pods.
A Nagging Feeling
That was disappointing! We were so looking forward to a Chicken Stir Fry with crunchy sugar snap peas. Instead we had to chew through thick pea pods which I initially thought was overripe sugar snap peas. When the pod cracked open in my mouth, I tasted delicious sweet peas! I had a nagging feeling and ran to the garage immediately to check the seed packaging to confirm my suspicion. Sure enough, these were sweet peas and not sugar snap peas.
I had to pause dinner to pick out the pea pods with a pair of chopsticks. Dinner resumed and we ate the chicken and shishito peppers which were thankfully very good. I had set aside a small plate of the stir fry for packing into the guys’ lunchboxes and so I scraped out the tender sweet peas from their pods with two spoons after dinner and mixed them back into the stir fry. The guys got to eat it the next day for lunch. Waste not, want not especially with homegrown veggies!
Chicken Stir Fry with Sweet Peas and Shishito Peppers
Had I realized earlier that the peas I was growing were sweet peas instead of sugar snap pas, the dish would actually look like this. Fortunately, it is just as tasty! Homegrown sweet peas are really sweet and quite delicious. And so my friends, it is really up to you. Either sugar snap peas or sweet peas will work in this recipe. Maybe you can try both and see which you prefer. 😉