Best way to "destring" snow-pea pods?

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labradors's picture
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Best way to "destring" snow-pea pods?
Although I'm pretty good at removing the strings from snow-pea pods, it doesn't always look as though I've gotten the whole thing.  Even so, they seem to turn out okay, but it does take quite a bit of time.

Is there a technique used by pros in restaurants to remove the strings from large quantities of snow-pea pods quickly, or is it just a matter of pulling them as "zipper tabs" as I have been doing?
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I'm not a pro Labs, but I never destring snow peas, only English garden peas.  Snow peas are pretty tender, and the more fiber you get, the happier your doctor will be!

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I pretty much use the "zipper tab" technique. Handful of snow peas in one hand, pairing knife in the other. Little snip at the top with a pairing knife and then give the fiber a pull. I generally don't mind snow peas that haven't been "destrung," but in higher end restaurants it's universally expected. 

The pros do have one trick that is helpful; unpaid interns and prep cooks. I highly recommend them!
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Labs,

If you have had the pleasure of sitting in a Chinese restaurant (especially in China Town NYC) early in the day, there are three universally unique prep activities that are conducted by the staff sitting in groups at large round tables: stringing snow peas, making dumplings and wonton.

There doesn't seem to be any short cut to the technique of stringing them, just a lot of hands and lots of practice. No tools used for the stringing and only chopsticks for the dumplings and wonton.

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Okay. Thanks. Don't really mind it, that much, but if there were a better way, it would be good to know.

Of course, now Elliot had to go and mention Chinese dumplings - and I had just been thinking about potstickers last night! Guess that means I'll have to make a batch soon. Two years ago, I made them with THIS recipe and followed the videos on THIS page and they were super easy to make (a LOT easier than I had expected). I left out the dried shrimp and they were very good, except that I thought they needed more garlic and ginger and that the dipping sauce was too salty because of the kind of soy sauce I used. When I added more garlic and ginger to the filling and used less soy sauce in the dipping sauce, they were wonderful!
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Labs,

Now you've gone and done it!  I will have to post my recipe for dumplings after I get home tonight.  Took several courses in Chinese cooking from great Chinese chefs years ago and have great 'home style" recipes.  The best soy sauce I have found is Wan Ja Shan.  Usually can only find it in Asian markets, but some better supermarkets sometimes carry it.  Used by the Chinese chefs I have learned from.  They make a low sodium version.  I can never tell the difference though.

I will post the dumpling and wonton recipes later tonight.

Cheers
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WONDERFUL! I'll take any such Chinese recipes you're willing to post.

The soy sauce I like the best, here, is Pear River Bridge. It's also one of the only ones actually made from plain soy beans and not "hydrolysed soy protein." The brands such as you mention, if they are available here, are probably only to be found in San Pedro Sula or Tegucigalpa (or the infrequent times I travel to the States).

BTW, have you ever tried something as bold as making your own soy sauce? I'd really like to try that, some time, but am still not sure how it would fare in this environment - especially whether any of the moulds it would produce would be toxic (or how one could tell). Fascinating article and pictures, though.

One more thing: when you do post that recipe, it would probably be a good idea to start a separate thread for it since we've obviously already strayed from my original snow=pea topic. LOL!
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Makes sense.  I'm going to start a new string for cooking Chinese dishes.  Will start with dumplings but will later continue with a number of apps and entrees.
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Yeah I'm with Nina on this Labs. I just top and tai,l and Bob's your uncle. Generally the cooking of snow peas amounts to just warming them up; hence, I've never been able to detect the difference.

I think we waste a lot of prep time doing things that don't really matter.