For those of you looking for ways to use up the sugar snaps now popping up at markets (beyond just snacking on them, which is 100% legitimate when they’re this sweet) might I propose slivering, then tossing them with mint, radishes, crushed peanuts, and spicy peanut sauce? I first ate a version of this last spring, at Goosefeather a local modern Cantonese spot (above) helmed by Dale Talde, and considering how much I’ve dreamed about it since, I’m not sure why it took me this long to recreate the thing in my own kitchen. It’s all there: sweet, spice, heat, crunch, and the perfect controlled hit of decadence with that peanut sauce. Serve the salad alongside basic roasted tofu and rice, or as we head into grilling season, piled next to grilled chicken or fish.
As I hope you know by now, I am generally not a fussy person when it comes to cooking, but the exception to this is when I am making a sugar snap pea salad. I am convinced, CONVINCED, they taste better when slivered horizontally on the bias (as shown), which takes approximately four times as long as just chopping them like a normal person. Choose your own adventure, here, I will not judge you. (But clearly Chef Dale agrees with me.)
Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce
9 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced
1 medium radish, sliced as thinly as you can manage
12 mint leaves, minced finely
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed or chopped
3 tablespoons spicy peanut sauce (below)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine snap peas, radish, mint, and crushed peanuts in a medium bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together spicy peanut sauce, apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, and toss with the snap peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spicy Peanut Sauce
Makes a little less than 1 cup. Save extra in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. (You’ll need to add a tablespoon or two of warm water to thin it out if you’re taking it right from the fridge.) Use as a dip for vegetables, toss with sesame noodles or drizzle on top of steamed spinach with sesame seeds.
1 small garlic clove
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup warm water, plus more a needed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
4 drops hot sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Add more warm water if it is on the thick side. (Up to about 4 tablespoons.)