I finally got around to a bunch of peas we purchased a while back. Being that these were farmer's market peas, there were the occasional shoot intermingled with the shells. The shoots made me think of Chinese food, and the great dishes using them in that vocabulary. Then, it hit me, what do they do after the pea grow up?
Ever see a dish of stir-fried peas in oyster sauce, with garlic, bean-paste? Sure, you will find them frozen, usually with some equally pre-fab carrots stretching a range of bad Chinese dishes, and I have also seen them in fried rice--again usually frozen, but never as a direct dish on a Chinese menu. Is it just me, or does the fully grown and ready to be shelled, play no role in the Chinese table.
On a related yet unrelated point, what's your secret method for shelling the suckers? Tonight, Alton Brown was reading from his copy of Cuisine Tedious on how to cut artichokes; believe me, shelling peas takes up plenty of that book as well. I've found the pinching of both ends methods works the best. The unzipping school was not nearly as efficient as it was a three step process (remove cap, un-zip, un-peel)