You could also do this whole process without a knife. A paring knife will get you a tidier, more attractive snap pea because it makes for a neater pull, but you can go ahead and just rip off the tips of the peas without slicing them. Just remember to pull back in the opposite direction to remove the second string.
Yes, it’s extra effort. Yes, it’s delayed gratification. And yes, it’s worth it. Because the best things in life require a little bit of work. And the flavor and texture of this vegetable is surely one of life’s best things.
Now, go make some toast:
Snap peas are one of the world’s finest vegetables. Perfectly crispy. Great when cooked (but even better raw). Gently sweet. Pleasingly vegetal. They check off every box of a top tier vegetable should.
There is one tiny itsy-bitsy caveat: the strings. You know what we’re talking about, right? That little strings that run up the side of a snap pea shell. They’re impossible to chew and incredibly annoying when lodged between your teeth.
Removing them is an extra step on the path to that primo snap pea experience, but if you don’t do it, you’re going to be dealing with a less-than-ideal situation and a real need for dental floss. So here’s a quick run-through to get rid of those strings and start crunching as soon as possible.
- Because the two strings run along the concave side, position the pea so that the convex side faces you. It should look like like a smile, not a frown.
- Using a paring knife, make a small slit—from the convex side to the concave side (so you’ll be cutting away from your body) on each end of the shell, near the tip, but don’t cut all the way through. You want the tips to stay attached so that you can use them as a handle for this next step.
- The tips should be dangling, attached to the concave side of the shell. Just grab them and pull along that side. The string will pull off of the shell easily, and once you’ve pulled the first tip and discarded the pesky string, pull the second tip in the opposite direction.