Cook the Book: Wasabi Peas for Real

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Cook the Book: Wasabi Peas for Real

For me, wasabi peas are an addictive substance. They satisfy my cravings for mouth-burning spice without the guilt of consuming handfuls of my other secret addiction: Andy Capp's Hot Fries (looks like a French fry, tastes like a chip!). Although I'll eat wasabi peas as much as my tongue will allow, the snack is still chock full of sugar and really not too great for you despite its veggie incognito. In The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without, Mollie Katzen gives us wasabi peas for real—a hot Asian side dish that keeps all the flavors of the crunchy snack, but can be served aside your favorite seared tuna. I'm still looking for the "Doritos for Real" recipe in here...


  • 1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 pound green peas (frozen and defrosted)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons wasabi paste (possibly a little more)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water (possibly more)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Wasabi peas (the crunchy snack version) for the top (optional)


  1. 1.

    Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. When it is melted, swirl to coat the pan.

  2. 2.

    Add the onion, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add the peas and a few dashes of salt, and cook, shaking the pan from time to time, for 5 minutes longer.

  3. 3.

    Meanwhile, place the wasabi paste in a small bowl, and mash with the olive oil. Add water by the tablespoon until the mixture becomes a supple sauce, and pour this into the peas. Grind in some fresh black pepper as well. Stir gently (or just shake the pan to keep the peas from breaking) as you incorporate the sauce. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Transfer to a serving bowl, and let it sit for 15 minutes so the flavors can meld. Serve warm or at room temperature—plain or topped with a sprinkling of wasabi snack peas for extra crunch and heat.