Pea shoots have long been prominent in Asian cuisine, but they're one of the newer ingredients showing up in U.S. farmer's markets. Their soft leaves, curly-cue tendrils and watery stems hold the promise of spring peas to come. But even better than that, they hold the flavor of them, too.
You can very easily just swap them in for any soft, leafy green in a recipe. Much like watercress, the stems are edible -- and the tendrils are just delicious. It cooks very similar to baby spinach and is versatile, too. You can eat pea shoots raw in a fresh salad; they can take the place of the more traditional lettuce or simply enhance it with pea shoot's spring flavor. You can stir fry them with sesame oil and garlic, as has long been done in Asian cooking. These greens can also brighten up a spring pasta dish, contributing a fresh, soft taste.