Here’s a bright, herbaceous, and umami-packed Southeast Asian-inspired stir-fry featuring sugar snap peas that cooks in minutes. I swear it’ll become your favorite veggie side dish!
If you love the flavors of Vietnam and Thailand, you’re gonna love this sugar snap pea recipe! This fast and easy stir fry combines crisp and subtly sweet sugar snap peas sautéed with a splash of savory fish sauce, lots of minced garlic, tangy lime juice, and a shower of fresh herbs and crispy shallots. Bonus: this show-stopping dish comes together in no time flat!
Tips for success
- Prep all your ingredients ahead of time! I love sugar snap peas (a.k.a. sugar snaps) ’cause they cook so quickly—but that means you’ll need to have all of your ingredients chopped and ready to throw into the skillet when you whip up this stir fry. If you dawdle, your snap peas will overcook and get too soft. (Cue sad trombone.)
- Buy the freshest snap peas you can find. Sugar snap peas are best in the spring and summer when they’re crisp, bright green, and blemish-free. Don’t buy snap peas that are floppy and spotted, people. You’re eating the whole pod, and no amount of seasoning will save a dish made with bad snap peas. Also, take the time to remove the strings from the sugar snap peas. Just snap off the the tough stem ends and pull the strings along the seams!
- Don’t skimp on the herbs and crispy shallots. Fresh herbs and crispy shallots may seem like optional garnish for the dish, but they’re not. Leave ’em out and your dish will suffer for it.
- Sugar snap peas: Yes, you can use snow peas if you can’t find sugar snap peas, but I prefer the rounder and crunchier snap peas.
- Avocado oil
- Red Boat Fish Sauce: The main seasonings for this dish are fish sauce and lime juice so the fish sauce is mandatory. If you’re vegan or allergic to fish, I have a fantastic “No-Fish Sauce” recipe on page 28 of Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! Alternatively, you can use 1 tablespoon coconut aminos + ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt in place of Red Boat.
- Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is best, but lemon juice and rice wine vinegar will also work!
- Fresh herbs: I like using fresh mint and Thai basil in this dish, but cilantro and Italian basil also work well in this dish.
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Crispy shallots: I always have a container of crispy shallots on the counter just so I can level up simple salads and vegetable side dishes like this one. You can make a batch in the microwave by following this recipe.
How to make sugar snap peas with basil, mint, and lime
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Swirl in the avocado oil.
Toss the pea pods in the pan along with a sprinkle of salt.
Cook, stirring frequently, until bright green, tender-crisp, and blistered in parts, about 2 minutes. Don’t overcook the sugar snap peas!
Toss in the minced garlic and fish sauce and stir well, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
Turn off the heat. Then, add the lime juice and toss well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional fish sauce, lime juice, or a pinch of salt if needed.
Transfer the snap peas to a serving platter.
Scatter on the fresh herbs and crispy shallots and enjoy!
What main dishes can you serve with it?
- Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
- Instant Pot Vietnamese Pork Stew
- Instant Pot Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)
- Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)
- Ollie’s Cracklin’ Chicken (Air Fryer or Stovetop)
- My Sister’s Phenomenal Grilled Green Chicken
- Kalua Pig (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)
How do you save leftovers?
This sautéed sugar snap peas recipe tastes best right out of the skillet, but you can definitely store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Quick Sugar Snap Peas With Basil, Mint, And Lime
- 1½ tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 pound sugar snap peas strings removed
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce or 1 tablespoon coconut aminos + ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thai basil
- 2 tablespoons Crispy Shallots
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Swirl in the avocado oil.
- Toss in the sugar snap peas and a ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt and cook, stirring frequently, until bright green, tender-crisp, and blistered in parts, about 2 minutes. Don’t overcook them!
- Toss in the minced garlic and fish sauce and stir well, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Turn off the heat. Then, add the lime juice and toss well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional fish sauce or lime juice if needed.
- Transfer the snap peas to a serving platter. Scatter on the fresh herbs and crispy shallots and enjoy!
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