I visited the Westchester Certified Farmers’ Market in Los Angeles, located in a park across adjacent to Otis College. Susan Hillyer, Market Manager, shares that there are 23-35 vendors depending on the season. She introduced me to husband and wife team, Cha and Bao Moua and their son Colin from Moua Farms, a 40+ acre farm out of Fresno. They offered a few simple tips on how to store and eat snow pea shoots, and shared more details about their farm.
Every week, the Moua family drive all the way from Fresno to sell produce in southern California. Bao and Cha sell produce at the Culver City and Westchester farmers markets, and Cha’s parents exhibit at Venice and West Hollywood. According to Cha, at this time they have approximately 40 varietals of produce, while in the summer they have over 100. They specialize in Asian produce, but offer a mix of produce including onions, ginger, mint leaves, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, and much more.
The snow pea shoots are leafy greens with tendrils traditionally grown and used in the cuisine of the Hmong–Mouas’ native culture. The shoots contain a good source of fiber, and vitamins A,B-6, C, and E. They carry a mild flavor profile of peas. I spotted a few flowers in the bundle I picked, which Bao informed me are edible.
Cha and Bao share great storage and cooking tips for snow pea shoots.
Storage Tips: Snow pea shoots are very sensitive and need to be eaten within two days of purchase. Keep it dry and do not rinse until use. Bao recommends that it is best stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Eating Tips: Cha and Bao recommend preparing snow pea leaves raw and cooked. Bao likes to eat it fresh and cut into pieces to add into your green salad mix. It complements other greens well, but not on its own. Cha recommends to simply saute the greens in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cha shares that you can use any oil to cook snow pea leaves, but he prefers olive oil as it really enhances its flavor. You can make snow pea shoots as a side dish, or make it a meal by adding shrimp, chicken or beef and serve with rice.
You can find more information about Moua Farms follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ctmmouafarm.moua , or visit them at the Westchester Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays from 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM.