Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Photo credit: Serious Eats
A "Tip" for Pea Lovers from the Kitchen of Christine Chen

My mom used to have a hard time getting me to eat these as a kid, but now I can’t get enough of them! Go beyond the expected, basic peas and the ubiquitous split pea soup recipe, and you may discover something seriously Asian and simply wonderful. Most commonly found in East Asian (especially Chinese) cooking, snow pea tips are the tender leaves and stems of mature snow pea plants. 

These dark, leafy greens — considered among the most nutritious of all the veggies — are a good source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and beta carotene. They don’t need much to be incredibly flavorful. 

Pea tips are best found at Asian grocery stores year-round, if you’re lucky enough to be near one. If there’s not a pea tip to be found, you can easily substitute pea sprouts, usually found next to the snow peas at the market. Choose pea tip clusters with smaller and thinner stems; compost the thick stems (they’ll be tougher to eat and not as sweet). At a Chinese restaurant, sometimes you can ask for pea tips off-menu, which will likely delight the wait staff!

Snow pea tips, stir fried in a wok
Photo credit: Serious Eats

Got them at home? A quick stir and swish in the wok, and snow pea tips are good to go. Common seasonings include garlic, ginger, sesame, and honey (all in moderation; I would choose no more than two of those at a time). 

Here’s a super simple recipe from my family’s kitchen to yours. As the fall arrives, these dark, leafy pea tips are also a warming, grounding vegetable side that can compliment any meal. To be honest, I can eat just this over rice (possibly with an egg) and be seriously satisfied. Enjoy! 

Seriously Simple Asian Pea Tips 

Prep time 5 minutes 


Makes 4-6 servings

  • One pound (or a little more) of pea tips 
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (best for high heat; or sub canola oil) 
  • Two garlic cloves, crushed or minced 
  • 1-2 tbsp water 
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or sub tamari, liquid aminos, or Japanese citrus ponzu) 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)


  1. Heat a wok (or large skillet) to medium-high heat. 
  2. Add cooking oil, and swirl around the wok. 
  3. Add garlic and stir lightly.
  4. Add pea tips. Stir and toss for two minutes. 
  5. Add moisture with water and continue to stir. 
  6. Drizzle soy sauce (or your option) around the pea tips in the wok. 
  7. Stir until slightly wilted, but not soft. 
  8. Serve on a dish with residual liquid and drizzle with sesame oil lightly after plating.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.

Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?


Christine Chen

Christine Chen is the host of Esalen Live! and Chief Editor of The Journal. She is a two-time Emmy winning journalist, best-selling author, California native, and senior teacher of yoga and Ayurveda on Esalen Faculty.