The Absolute Best Way To String Snap Peas

The sweet, fresh flavor of snap peas is far less satisfying with strings attached. Fine Cooking notes that the fibrous strings that run along the seam of snap peas can be eaten, but just because they're edible doesn't mean that they're enjoyable. Removing the strings can add to prep time, but a few easy tips can shorten the time that it takes to get snap peas from the cutting board into your dish, and the flavor is worth the effort.

According to Kitchn, snap peas are climbing plants that join snow and garden peas in the legume family. The snap pea features a larger edible pod with a satisfyingly crunchy texture. Commonly referred to as sugar snap peas for their signature sweet flavor, snaps offer a fresh, vernal flavor and essential texture to any dish that includes them.

Snap peas are delicious in their raw state and can be quickly blanched or lightly cooked without losing their flavor or texture. Before you can enjoy all the sweet and vegetal flavors that snap peas offer, removing those pesky strings is essential.

Snap pea strings made easy

Snap peas have two strings running along the top seam or concave portion of the legume pod, explains Bon Appétit. An easy way to find the top seam is to place the pea pod on your cutting board so it resembles a smile; the strings will be at the top portion that dips down. A small paring knife is ideal for this job as it makes a cleaner cut, but you can also use your fingers if you prefer. 

Grasp the pea pod and make a small slit on the underside of each pod end without completely removing the two tail pieces. Each end should have a dangling tip that is still partially attached to the strings on top of the pod but mostly separated from the body itself. Using the dangling pieces like a zipper, pull across the pod in the opposite direction of the end you are holding to remove the string. Repeat on the other side and discard both strings.

Now that the strings have been removed, you are free to enjoy your snap peas in a variety of dishes. The fresh taste of snap peas is often paired with herbal mint notes and tangy lemon, or you can try them charred on top of a tostada. Whether combined with other flavors, quick-cooked, or raw, snap peas without the string are a welcome addition to many meals.