What is Snow Pea?

Pisum sativum var. saccharatum

Also called Sugar Peas, Mangetout or Chinese Pea Pods.

The snow pea (Pisum sativum var. saccharatum) is a variety of pea eaten whole in its pod while still immature. It can be eaten raw, or lightly cooked.

Snow peas have pale green flat pods with small immature looking peas. They are sold all year round.


Sno peas are high in vitamin C. 100g (3.5oz) supplies 100% RDA of vitamin C.

Culinary Use

Snow Peas are crisp and sweet, and can be served raw, or lightly steamed, boiled, blanched or stir-fried

They are popularly used in Chinese Stir Fries.

To Prepare Sno Peas: both tips of the pod should cut off before cooking. Most cultivars do not require stringing unless you buy older ones which may require stringing.

Shopping For Snow Peas

By JS (JS) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Snow peas are best eaten fresh. They should be displayed in the fridge section of the store.

Fresh snow peas should be shiny and flat with barely visible tiny peas inside the pod.

The smaller ones are sweeter and more tender than the older ones.


Snow peas can be stored in the fridge in a perforated bag, in the crisper, for 1-2 days.

Do not over-store them otherwise they will turn brown and slimy.

Botanical Notes

Pisum Sativum L. (Pea)

Grown for green immature seeds sold as sweet garden peas

  • Pisum sativum var. sativum (Also called Green Pea, Green Garden Pea or English pea)

Grown for Mature Dried Seeds (pulse)

  • Pisum sativum var. arvense (L.) Poiret (Field Pea, Canadian field pea (spring pea), dun (grey-brown) pea, Kapucijner pea, matar dal, or Austrian winter pea (black pea)
  • Whole peas split to produce: yellow split pea and Green Split pea.

Grown for immature edible pods:

  • Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon: Sugar snap pea or snap pea
  • Pisum sativum var. saccharatum: Snow pea, Sugar Peas, Mangetout or Chinese Pea Pods


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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