Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

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5 from 2 votes

Spice up your side dishes with these perfectly steamed sugar snap peas, coated in sesame oil, adorned with toasted sesame seeds, and finished with a touch of salt and a hint of heat from hot pepper flakes.

Do you struggle to try new side dishes because of the extra prep time it takes in addition to the main entrée? If you’re looking for quick, easy and delicious, you have come to the right place! The subtle heat from the hot pepper flakes paired with toasted sesame seeds complements the natural sweetness of the sugar snap peas beautifully. You can expect to have a great side dish in 15 minutes or less! 

Want more easy and delicious veggie side dishes? Try this Sautéed Broccolini!

What’s the Difference Between Snow Peas and Snap Peas?

There are very subtle differences between snow peas and snap peas. To start, snow peas (also known as Chinese pea pods), are flatter in shape with small peas inside. 

Snap peas on the other hand, are a cross between snow peas and garden peas. They are more round in shape, smaller in overall size, crunchier and a little bit sweeter. Similar to snow peas, the entire pod is edible as long as the ends are removed along with the tough string on the seam. The sweeter and crunchier nature of snap peas make them my favorite for this dish!


  • Sugar snap peas – sugar snap peas are easily found in most grocery stores!
  • Water – water is used to help steam the sugar snap peas until al dente. 
  • Sesame seeds – sesame seeds are a great toasty garnish.
  • Sesame oil – sesame oil has a distinctive nutty and aromatic flavor.
  • Salt – salt enhances the flavor of the sugar snap peas. 
  • Hot pepper flakes – for a little heat, add a dash (or a lot) of red pepper flakes! Don’t like heat? Leave the flakes out!

How To Trim Sugar Snap Peas

Trimming sugar snap peas is a simple process of removing the ends in addition to the tough string that runs along the seam of the pods. Here is my process: 

  • Wash the sugar snap peas: rinse the sugar snap peas under running water and make sure to wash off any and all dirt. 
  • Pat sugar peas dry: after rinsing, pat the sugar peas dry. 
  • Cut the ends: gently cut the pointy end of the pea, just under the stem and then pull forward and down to peel off the string. I prefer to use a knife to cut, however, you can also snap the pod with your fingers. 
  • Peel away string: after cutting the end of the pea, you will immediately pull forward to help remove the string from the seam of the pod.

How To Cook Sugar Snap Peas

Learn how to make the best sugar snap peas. Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Toast.

    Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat until golden. Toss often.

  2. Steam.

    In a covered pot, steam sugar peas in water over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes.

  3. Drain.

    Drain the water. Add sesame oil, sesame seeds, hot pepper flakes, and salt. Stir.

Serving Suggestions

Sugar snap peas can be served in so many ways, either as a side dish, appetizer, or as part of a larger meal. Here are some of my favorite options: 

  • Asian-Inspired Feast: Include the sugar snap peas as part of an Asian-inspired feast, with Peanut Noodles, Orange Chicken, an Salmon Rice Bowl, or your favorite stir fry! They also pair well with other sides like a salad topped with a Asian Salad Dressing
  • Picnic Snack: These sugar snap peas are great for bringing along on picnics. They can be served at room temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have to cook snap peas to eat them?

No, you can enjoy snap peas raw after you have cleaned and prepped them by cutting off the stem and peeling away the tough string. They are a delicious, sweet and crunchy snack!

How do you store cooked sugar snap peas?

Store leftover sugar snap peas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove in a warm pan or gently microwave, checking every 15 seconds.

Can I sauté the sugar snap peas instead?

Yes, however the sugar snap peas won’t stay as bright green and al dente. If you prefer, you can absolutely sauté the sugar snap peas instead of steaming them.

More Veggie Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love!

Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

Spice up your side dishes with these perfectly steamed sugar snap peas, coated in sesame oil, adorned with toasted sesame seeds, and finished with a touch of salt and a hint of heat from hot pepper flakes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: spring, winter
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 43kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace


  • ½ pound stringless sugar snap peas sub snow peas if needed
  • cup water
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon hot pepper flakes or to taste


  • Add sesame seeds to a dry pan. Toast sesame seeds for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat, using a spatula to toss around sesame seeds to evenly toast. Remove sesames from pan when they turn golden brown and set aside to cool.
  • In a small pot, add sugar snap peas and water. Cover pot and let snap peas steam over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until snap peas are bright green and al dente.
  • Drain water from pot and add sesame oil, sesame seeds, hot pepper flakes, and salt. Stir, or shake pot with top on to combine. Serve warm.



Serving: 1serving | Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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