Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Wrinkled peas


Josh71
 Share

Recommended Posts

I usually cook peas in boiling water.

 

This will result kind of wrinkled peas. You know, the skin would wrinkle and not nice.

 

I tried to steam it, and same result.

 

Is there any consistent method that can produce a nice bright green cooked peas which doesn't have wrinkled skin?

 

Using fresh peas of course, not from frozen ones.

 

Probably using sous vide? Which I haven't done it yet, as I don't know what temperature and how long.

 

Just wondering if this is even possible.

Edited by Josh71 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have the answer to your specific question but I would mention that it may not be a universal truth to diss frozen peas.  "Fresh peas" do need to be really fresh - like picked from your own plants just an hour or so ago, certainly less than 24 hours - otherwise they would have degraded (becoming more "starchy", for example) and "supermarket-fresh" peas can be guaranteed to be far older than 24-hours-ago-picked.  Even the stuff one picks up from farmers' markets may have been picked several days prior to market day.  Frozen peas, OTOH, are stated to be processed and frozen within several hours of being picked (by the major players in the business) and there are various taste tests where frozen peas were said to be quite good indeed.  Google the topic, if you like.

 

ETA:  IIRC, when I cook even frozen peas from a fresh package briefly they do not wrinkle; whereas cooking "old" frozen peas or residual stuff from a previously-opened package will wrinkle.

Edited by huiray (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have the answer to your specific question but I would mention that it may not be a universal truth to diss frozen peas.  "Fresh peas" do need to be really fresh - like picked from your own plants just an hour or so ago, certainly less than 24 hours - otherwise they would have degraded (becoming more "starchy", for example) and "supermarket-fresh" peas can be guaranteed to be far older than 24-hours-ago-picked.  Even the stuff one picks up from farmers' markets may have been picked several days prior to market day.  Frozen peas, OTOH, are stated to be processed and frozen within several hours of being picked (by the major players in the business) and there are various taste tests where frozen peas were said to be quite good indeed.  Google the topic, if you like.

 

What I meant with fresh peas are peas which are still in it's pod, which I need to open and take the peas out.

I can get these from the market, usually.

 

The frozen peas, although they are good, but they usually smaller in size compared to the fresh ones from it's pod.

 

Obviously, there are of course smaller peas in the pod. But, on average, I can get a cup of giant peas from half kg peas pods :)

 

The intention using these giant peas is for special kind of meal, giant peas are better for presentation (photo) :)

Edited by Josh71 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I meant with fresh peas are peas which are still in it's pod, which I need to open and take the peas out.

I can get these from the market, usually.

 

 

...and is what I meant by "fresh peas" in my previous post (still in the pod), whether from the supermarket or from the farmers' market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with huiray that frozen peas are often far better than fresh, and that your 'fresh' peas may indeed not be anywhere near as fresh as you think they are which definitely can cause your wrinkled issue.

 

Have you tried 'nuking' them in the microwave? I would merely wash them off with a bit of water so the water clings (don't add extra and don't cover) and then I would try less than a minute on high to start with and then taste. Peas don't take much - and if they are really fresh, you can eat them right out of the pod without cooking at all.

Edited by Deryn (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I start with decent peas and they wrinkle it's usually a sign I've overcooked them or I've left them too long between cooking and service.

  • Like 2

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would second the overcooked.  I just finished processing my peas:  picking, shelling, blanching for one minute  and then shocking in ice water.  No wrinkles.  Even if I am not using them right away I process them this way, as huiray said, prevents the starch conversion.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, I think you all right, it might be overcooked. I usually boil it more than 1 minute.

 

Note about frozen peas, I choose not to use it because the size of the peas, they are tiny compare to the peas from pods that I bought from the market. At least that's what I got here. I do have and use frozen peas, for everyday use. But for special meal, I like giant peas :)

 

I will buy some this weekend to show you and few experiments :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, I think you all right, it might be overcooked. I usually boil it more than 1 minute.

 

Note about frozen peas, I choose not to use it because the size of the peas, they are tiny compare to the peas from pods that I bought from the market. At least that's what I got here. I do have and use frozen peas, for everyday use. But for special meal, I like giant peas :)

 

I will buy some this weekend to show you and few experiments :)

 

 

When I was a kid, my parents lived in pea-picking country and they always insisted on getting fresh picked peas but the smaller, the better.   Sweeter and tenderer.  In the City, even the farmer's market peas are too old and too big for me.  I stick with the baby frozen peas.  :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Sylvia.

 

The smaller peas are much tastier.

 

French "petits pois" are probably the best.

 

But it seems you only want the large peas for their looks and not their taste..

 

Yes, that's true :)

 

I only put them as additional ingredients for some veggies like broccoli and carrots (steamed/boiled), next to some salad leaves, to accompany kind of roasted protein with gravy / pan-sauce.

 

So, the peas are not the main-ingredient on the dish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that's true :)

 

I only put them as additional ingredients for some veggies like broccoli and carrots (steamed/boiled), next to some salad leaves, to accompany kind of roasted protein with gravy / pan-sauce.

 

So, the peas are not the main-ingredient on the dish.

 

Maybe it's just me, but I find that kind of sad. You are deliberately picking an ingredient which tastes less good.

As far as I am concerned every ingredient on the plate should be the best I can find - in terms of flavour. Anything else is just fluff.

I confess I don't always manage, but I try.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it's just me, but I find that kind of sad. You are deliberately picking an ingredient which tastes less good.

As far as I am concerned every ingredient on the plate should be the best I can find - in terms of flavour. Anything else is just fluff.

I confess I don't always manage, but I try.

Not in my case. I said it many times already that I like big peas.

You see, there are different cut of meat and people cook all of them. They don't always choose the most tender or the most flavoursome meat. Each has its own specific purpose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yup, there be big ones and little ones.  use what works best.

 

as a side I do mine in boiling water only 2-3 minutes for fresh and perhaps 5 for frozen.  we do like them al toothy tho.

 

in our market they carry (frozen) both sizes (store brand, dunno abour national brands) - probably both in cans as well but I don't do much in canned veggies....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not in my case. I said it many times already that I like big peas.

You see, there are different cut of meat and people cook all of them. They don't always choose the most tender or the most flavoursome meat. Each has its own specific purpose.

But I have never met a cook yet whose food I would care to eat who looked at two pieces of meat and said, "I think I'll choose the less flavoursome one because less flavour is what I want". I will absolutely grant you the right to prefer larger peas but please tell me that it's for a reason other than that have less flavour!

  • Like 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I have never met a cook yet whose food I would care to eat who looked at two pieces of meat and said, "I think I'll choose the less flavoursome one because less flavour is what I want". I will absolutely grant you the right to prefer larger peas but please tell me that it's for a reason other than that have less flavour!

Why not?

It's not always about flavor, think about texture for example. Some people might like rib eye more than flank steak. Someone might like pork chop rather than pork belly. And so on.

You see, cooking is not one dimension. Otherwise it would be boring.

Listen, I am not going to make pea soup or pea cake or pea tart or pea burger.

It's just for kind of garnish, and I like the chruncy texture of just cooked pea, and big which is pleasing to my eyes. What's wrong with that?

I enjoy my food with all my senses, through the taste, the smells, and the look and appearance.

Edited by Josh71 (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not both/all (taste/texture/looks) if you can have it? What I am hearing is that if it tastes good ... you would never use it as a garnish? Or you would do something to make sure it didn't taste good before you would add it as a garnish?

 

And .. so .. you have had a number of ideas relayed here on how to stop the wrinkled pea issue - what have you decided to do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always used to pick sweet peas and cook them a few hours at most later after shucking. I picked them kind of small, because that is the way I prefer them for both texture and taste. Very short cook (1 minute), and no wrinkling. I also like them raw.

 

Weirdly, our low end (cheapest grocery store, Food Lion), offers both frozen tiny green peas and regular, larger green peas. It is the only place locally I can find tiny green peas. I bought peas at Trader Joe's one time and was quite disappointed. They were overgrown for my taste.

 

If I cook the tiny greens right away, no wrinkling. If I allow them to languish in my substandard fridge freezer for months, there will be dehydration and wrinkling. I can still use them for fried rice or other dishes as an accent. They never go to waste.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Josh - Did anyone say anything that helped you solve the problem as you stated it? If so, I hope you will come back and tell us what was the solution that worked - for your unique situation.

 

Or, did you try the sous vide idea? I personally think that won't achieve the results you want, but, I love to know if it did so I can learn too.

 

People were just trying to help. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I found the answer  :laugh:

 

It's not about overcooking it, but the way to cool it.

 

See my experiments below.

 

So, basically, the wrinkle is caused by rapid cooling!

 

If you let them rest in the hot water that you used to boil them, until they are cooling down gradually, there will be no wrinkle!

 

First experiment, I drop some peas in the rolling boiling water, timed for exactly 60 seconds and then immediately cool them using cold tap water:

 

zAcBttS.jpg

 

As you can see, although they were not badly wrinkled, but they were some kind of deformed. 

And they were not completely cooked, very crunchy texture, although I didn't taste rawness. 

 

Then I thought, let see with 30 seconds:

WGJYek0.jpg

 

Still some kind of deformation.

 

So, I was thinking, the wrinkle should not be caused by overcooking, that cannot be. 

It must be the cold tap water.

 

Then I followed with this next experiment:

 

Drop the peas on rolling boiling water, timed for 2 minutes, then off the heat, come back 30 minutes to check.

The result put me on a big smile:

 

i5ytM3h.jpg

 

As you can see there, no wrinkles! And they are still bright green :)

 

I was happy, but the texture was not the way I want. Completely cooked though.

 

Then I tried various timing, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and here with 5 minutes, let them cool for 45 minutes:

 

qVCtKxX.jpg

 

Still nice, and texture was much better. With 5 minutes, I found a few deformed, but plenty are still nice like above.

 

I think I will settle with 5 minutes, then let them cool gradually (no rapid cooling).

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I think obligatory post compared to frozen peas.

 

Well, I didn't test the frozen peas because I don't have "raw" frozen peas. When I defrost them in room temperature and ate them, they were cooked. Probably they were par-boiled then freeze. 

 

However, as many users said, the taste of the frozen ones were nicer, sweeter, no doubt!

 

oJ3in8S.jpg

 

But, for my purpose to garnish my food, to drop some on the plate, I want nicer looking peas :)

 

That's why I open this thread asking ideas.

 

By the way, I don't have much experience or knowledge about peas. I don't know what variety or kind of that big peas. 

So, I don't know the exact name. But for sure, they taste like peas!

 

Before doing the above experiments, I was ready to test using sous vide. At the end, I didn't do it.

 

veSrkV8.jpg

Edited by Josh71 (log)
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...