Do you know that the average person in Britain eats nearly 9,000 peas per year? That’s probably why we are celebrating Great British Pea Week from 8th to 14th July.
This annual celebration aims to increase awareness and understanding of the provenance and heritage of these little nutritional wonders and we’re certainly all for that.
An amazing two billion portions of peas are harvested in Britain every year, with many being frozen within two hours of being picked to lock in the nutrients.
It’s not often that we extol the virtue of frozen food, but we have to make an exception in this case because frozen peas are just as good as fresh ones, and from a chefs’ point of view it makes preparation so easy as you can just pop them straight into soups, casseroles or curries.
If you are cooking just the peas, remember to use as little water as possible because this retains more of the vitamin C. Steaming helps to conserve this vitamin so when boiling frozen peas, add just enough water to cover, bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
After this, you have something rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre and low in fat and salt. So there’s not much more to say than that, other than enjoy this week’s Asian (of course) pea-inspired recipe for Great British Pea Week:
Traditional Chinese Chicken Curry
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 tsp cornflour
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
400ml chicken stock
1 tsp soy sauce
1. Coat the chicken pieces in the cornflour and season well.
2. Fry the onion in half of the oil in a wok on a low to medium heat, until it softens – about 5-6 minutes – then add the garlic and cook for a minute.
3. Stir in the spices and sugar and cook for another minute, then add the stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Tip everything into a blender and blitz until smooth.
4. Fry the chicken in the remaining oil until it is browned all over. Tip the sauce back into the pan and bring everything to a simmer, stir in a generous helping of peas and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little water if you need to thin the sauce. Serve with rice.