Gallery: Top This: How to Use Pea Shoots (Dou Miao) on Pizza

  • Chinese-Inspired Topping

    Pea Shoots (Dou Miao)

    Pea shoots (or dou miao in Mandarin) need to be be sautéed before topping your pizza. Fortunately, it takes hardly any work or time. From a quick wash to prepped topping will take you about 5 minutes, if that. Make extra and you can serve them as a side as well. They're a great way to get your greens with your pies.

    Get the recipe here

    What to Look For

    pea shoots at the market

    Depending on the time of year, you may find two different types of pea shoots at the market. When I went in late May, there were early pea shoots (xiao dou miao) and late pea shoots (da dou miao). Early shoots have smaller leaves—you'll readily see the difference. Late shoots will be expensive ($2.99 a pound, where I bought them). The late shoots are more tender and are best used for topping pizza. (Gardenweb has a good thread on the differences.)

    Easy Peas-y

    cooking pea shoots with garlic

    Simply chop the garlic, sauté it till golden, add about 6 cups of pea shoots, and cook them till wilted.

    The Build Up

    homemade pizza with pea shoots

    Use whatever dough recipe you like. I was lazy and grabbed a store-bought dough the night before and used that. I topped it with strained and crushed canned tomatoes, a 1:1 mixture of regular whole-milk and part-skim mozzarella, the pea shoots, and a quick drizzle of really good quality olive oil.

    In the Oven

    homemade pizza with pea shoots topping

    OK. Before you see the final picture I have to do some pre-disaster prep for you. This is the first time I used my Fibrament pizza stone and the first time I used the top oven at home. (We have a dual-oven range; and the upper oven goes up to 550°F.) I had never cooked pizza under these circumstances before.

    Finished Product

    homemade pizza with pea shoots

    And that unfamiliar oven configuration and store-bought dough is what I'm blaming for the really lame crust on this pie. The bottom cooked insanely fast. Way faster than my traditional pizza stone cooked. The end crust, not so much. It was just cooked through but took on no color and was almost a bit doughy. Clearly I need to experiment with both ovens and maybe go back to my traditional noncomposite baking stone. Still, the pea shoots worked beautifully on this pizza. As expected, the texture was pretty much that of broccoli rabe, and the flavor was, as many people have described across the web, redolent of spring.

    pea shoots