David Chang Uses Tubed Wasabi To Give Sugar Snap Peas A Pungent Kick

Whatever cooking tips David Chang likes to throw our way, we gratefully receive them. From his best chicken recipe to the outlandish recommendation to top Popeye's biscuits with caviar, the chef has a knack for illuminating the whimsical side of food. Now, Chang is sharing how he makes use of a staple convenience item for Asian cooking, the tube of pre-made wasabi.

In an Instagram post, Chang is quick to open with the disclaimer that wasabi in a tube usually isn't "real" wasabi, as Japanese horseradish is grated, and isn't truly smooth enough to come out like the toothpaste-like faux wasabi popular at the grocery store. This tubed wasabi is basically regular horseradish paste dyed green. Still, he thinks there's a definite place for it in the cook's cupboard, particularly if you plan to make a sugar snap pea side dish in the future.

Chang likes to dress up blanched sugar snap peas with an aromatic dressing made of maple syrup, yuzu juice, soy sauce, olive oil, and wasabi. Like a spicier update on a honey mustard vinaigrette, the sweet and tangy notes of the syrup and citrus juice help complement the heat of the horseradish, working as the perfect coating for your sugar snap peas.

Adding a spicy kick to sugar snap peas

To make your own version of this side dish, begin by lightly blanching a pound of sugar snap peas. For the uninitiated, that translates to submerging them in boiling water for about a minute and a half, then immediately plunging them into an ice bath to stop them from cooking. After that's done, you can make your dressing.

Chang's vinaigrette has five major elements: sweetness from the maple syrup, acidity from the yuzu juice, fattiness from the olive oil, heat from the wasabi, and umami (saltiness) from the soy sauce. For that final ingredient he uses Momofuku's gluten-free tamari. You can interchange some of these ingredients, swapping agave syrup for the maple or Worcestershire sauce for soy sauce, or even regular lemon juice for yuzu juice, but the tubed wasabi is one thing to keep the same, as its smooth texture makes it ideal for blending into a vinaigrette. Adjust each amount to your taste, just know you'll need to use olive oil the most, as it acts as the emulsifier for all the rest. Once complete, toss the sugar snap peas in your dressing and serve. If you like what you taste, consider dressing up other veggies with this sweet-and-spicy vinaigrette.