Asian peas have pale green pods and contain petite, flattened peas. Pods are wide and flat, measuring approximately two to three inches in length. Both the peas and pods are edible and have a sweet pea flavor and a tender yet crisp texture. The peas grow from flowers which can be white or purple, at this young stage; both the leaves and flowers of the snow pea plant can be eaten as well.
Asian peas offer protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamin C and K, potassium, magnesium and iron. Asian peas are also higher in vitamin C than other types of peas.
Asian peas are an integral vegetable in oriental cuisine and are used commonly in stir-fries, fried rice and noodle dishes. Their crunchy texture and fresh flavor will complement soups, curries and meats prepared in a rich sauce. Snow peas can also be used as in salads and spring rolls or served on a crudité tray. A versatile pea, it's flavor and texture marries well with shrimp, scallops, cashews, citrus, soy sauce, sesame, butter, delicate noodles and tofu. Because of their high sugar content care should be taken when cooking snow peas as they will brown quicker than other varieties of peas.
Available year-round, the peak season for asian peas is spring through the early summer months.