Stir-Fried Peas + Spinach 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Mar 29, 2017

Combining fresh peas and spinach makes for an undeniably spring-y side dish. The main recipe of this easy trio includes ginger, garlic, cilantro, fish sauce and tons of fresh mint and cilantro for almost Vietnamese version of peas and mint. Next, whole cumin seeds offer a whole new flavor without much effort (this version is great dolloped with yogurt and served with warm flatbread). The final version leaves you with just garlic and basil instead of the mint and cilantro for a simple Italian side dish.

See the VARIATIONS, below.

Make Ahead: All of these are best served right when they come out of the saute pan. But they can also be enjoyed at room temperature, so feel free to make them a couple of hours in advance and just cover at room temperature, or refrigerate them for up to a day and then bring to room temperature before serving. The fresh herbs are best left until the last minute to stir in.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (may substitute canola or vegetable oil)
  • One 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger root, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas (may substitute 13 ounces frozen small green peas)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (may substitute fresh pea shoots/tendrils)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 small handful fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped


Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until they’re sizzling and smell very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the peas and water; cook, stirring, until they’re bright green and tender, about 2 minutes.

Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, a minute at the most (2 large spoons used as if you were tossing a salad makes easy work of this). Turn off the heat and stir in the fish sauce, mint and cilantro. Serve right away.

VARIATIONS: To make Sauteed Peas With Cumin Seed, add 1 teaspoon cumin seed to the oil before you add the ginger and garlic, as directed above. Serve with a dollop of thick, plain yogurt.

To make Sauteed Garlicky Peas With Basil, use olive oil instead of the grapeseed oil, as directed above. Double the garlic; omit the ginger, fish sauce, mint and cilantro. Season the peas lightly with salt. Toss in 2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, letting them wilt slightly just before serving, and add a few small basil leaves as a garnish.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Julia Turshen.

Tested by Richard Kerr.

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