A couple of years ago, we attended an organic growers conference. It was well attended and we learned a lot. One of the things I really liked was the fact that they had several hands-on demonstrations. One of them was titled "How to Grow Pea Shoots". That caught my interest at once. Pea Shoots? Really? I had never heard of such a thing. I have grown mung bean sprouts. Those are the bean sprouts that are a common ingredient in most Chinese stir-fries. Anyway, I attended the demonstration and came away eager to try this myself.
However, other things demanded my attention and it was not until early this year that I got around to it. Basically, you just throw some pea seed onto a container of dirt and let them grow! So, easy, right? Well, there is a little more to it. So, here's how I did it.
I suppose any type of pea seed would work, just be sure that the seed is not treated. I used Dwarf Grey Sugar peas. First, I soaked the peas in water overnight.
The next morning I drained them in a colander.
The next step was to fill a flat with 1.5 to 2 inches of potting soil, sprinkle the seed evenly over the surface and water well.
The flat should then be covered to keep the light out and maintain a moist environment. I used another flat turned upside down, like this.
In two to three days the peas begin to sprout.
I usually leave the lid on a couple more days to force them to grow taller. Then, I uncover them and let them grow until they are about 6 inches tall. Don't forget to keep them watered!
Finally, I simply use a pair of scissors and trim the tops off.
These are great in salads or cooked in stir fries. So, try your hand at growing some for yourself. You don't have to use anything as big as a growing flat, like I did. You can simply recycle a shallow cardboard box or take-home container from a restaurant. Also, we are fortunate to have a small greenhouse where I grow them, but you can just set them in a sunny window. Just be sure to turn the container around everyday. Otherwise, they will all grow toward the side where the light.
Pea shoots store well in the refrigerator and stay fresh for up to 2 weeks! The secret is to NOT wash them and put them in resealable plastic bags until you are ready to eat them. Extra water in the bag causes them to deteriorate faster. They are delicious fresh in salads or used in stir-fries.