Mainly because I want to memorialize it so I can remember it for myself, and because I love her and I love the way she makes this dish, here is my mom’s recipe for dou miao (snow pea shoots), a bright, crisp, leafy green that is one of my absolute favorite vegetables of all time.
1/2 pound of dou miao
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped chunky
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium high until shimmering.
Add salt to the oil and stir to combine — apparently, this will evenly distribute the salt across the vegetables because, and I quote, “the oil spreads evenly which makes makes the salt spread evenly.”
Add dou miao to the pan and fold to coat evenly with oil (and also, therefore, salt), then cover with a lid to fry untouched for 1-2 min.
Uncover and stir, then add a splash of water to the pan and cover again, to steam for another 1-2 min. Check throughout to make sure the dou miao is bright green and still crunchy — you don’t want it to overcook and get too soft and wilted.
Once the greens are bright green and still crunchy but just starting to wilt, uncover and push the greens to the side of the pan. There should still be a little bit of water at the bottom of the pan. Add garlic to the center of the pan and cook quickly in the liquid, for 30 seconds, or until fragrant and just starting to soften. This will result in sharp crunchy hits of garlic that compliment the greens nicely. (Alternatively, you can slice the garlic and add it to the oil, cooking until just fragrant, about 15-30 seconds, before adding the dou miao, for a more subtle garlicky taste.)
Transfer to a large dish or bowl and serve immediately.
(That's right, this is a straight-up recipe, no metaphors or fancy literary devices this time! Just a nice recipe that makes me think of my mom and makes me happy. Thank you for reading!)
Dou miao (Snow pea shoots)