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I don’t think we’ve ever had asparagus and peas at the Market at the same time in the seven years I’ve been doing this. But we do now, and so I offer this recipe for your dining pleasure – because I can.

Not only does this recipe make use of asparagus and peas, it also uses green garlic or green onions/scallions, radishes, cilantro, and eggs; all of which are also at the Market currently.  And the combination of all these fresh early season ingredients with the sweet tart spicy flavors of Thai cooking make for a really satisfying and unique dish.

Spring Pad Thai with Green Garlic, Asparagus, and Peas

recipe from Matt Taylor-Gross for Saveur


  • 8 oz. thin flat rice noodles
  • 1⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1⁄2 cup finely chopped green garlic or green onions/scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh peas (English or Snap)
  • 3⁄4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup minced cilantro
  • 2 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, cover the noodles with warm tap water and let stand until soft, about 20 minutes. Pour the noodles into a colander and let drain while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the fish sauce, vinegar, and tamarind paste. Bring to a simmer over medium-low, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in chile flakes.
  3. In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add both garlics, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the eggs, and then stir to scramble them until nearly cooked, 2 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and peas,* and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the drained noodles and reserved sauce, and cook, tossing, until the liquid has been absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.

* Cook’s Note: English peas need to be shelled (taken out of the pod) whereas Snap peas can be cooked and eaten pod and all, just trim the ends. You can cut them in half or thirds if you prefer.

Tip: If you have trouble finding some of the ingredients for this recipe, check out the Asian grocery on 86th St. behind Castleton Square Mall and across from Costco; or the International Market near 38th and Lafayette Rd.

Grab the peas and asparagus while you still can — asparagus is already overdue to be done for the season, and peas never stay around for long. Don’t forget to check our archive for more great recipes using the fresh local food you find at the Market.