From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of April 15, 2013
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Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Nothing says spring like garden fresh vegetables and this sugar snap pea dish is green, earthy and delicious. You’ll find fresh sugar snap peas in the grocery store and at farmer’s markets and roadside stands during the spring and early summer. Sugar snap peas are best served raw or cooked the day of purchase or a day or two later.

This dish is easy to make, especially if you find sugar snaps in stores that have already trimmed them. If not, you can easily trim them. Start at bottom tip, and pull the string up the front, then snap off the stem and pull the string down the back. This will ensure that the sugar snaps are not stringy.

The soy sauce enriches the flavor of the green gems. Although soy sauce is well-known in Asian cuisine, it can enhance many types of recipes. Look for reduced-sodium version of soy sauce. Experiment with the amount of red pepper flakes to complement the soy sauce and create just the level of zest you like.

The honey is an integral part of the dressing both for taste and consistency. If you find your honey is too thick to easily combine with the other ingredients, warm it gently by setting the jar in a pan of hot water for about a minute.

The regular type of sesame seed oil works well, but roasted sesame seed oil provides a darker color and gives a richer, more intense flavor. The crunchy sesame seeds add texture to the dish.

Sesame Sugar Snap Peas are a great accompaniment to fish dishes. It works especially well, for example, with broiled, baked or grilled salmon. Add a side of wild rice and you have a great springtime meal.

Sugar Snap Peas

Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seed oil (can use toasted sesame seed oil)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Place oven rack in highest position and preheat broiler.

In mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil and garlic. Add snap peas and toss to coat well.

On baking dish, place snap peas in single layer. Broil until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

While peas are cooking, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper flakes and honey.

After removing snap peas from oven, gently toss with soy sauce mixture. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Serve hot or chilled as side dish. Hot is most common.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 90 calories, 4 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 11 g carbohydrate,
3 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 140 mg sodium.

Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at

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