There are many kinds of peas, with different fragrances and tastes available for cooking like chickpeas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and more.
In this post, we are going to discuss why peas get hard and learn some tips for softening them as well.
Based on our experience, there are about three main causes of hard peas.
The age of peas is most commonly the cause. It’s impossible to find out how old a pea is just from its appearance so, sometimes, people can accidentally buy too-old peas.
Another reason for making the plant resistant is the acid substances in the pea soaking environment. And that acid keeps the yellow split peas from softening.
To be specific, the cells in vegetables are bonded together with hemicelluloses, which dissolve the heat and steam to weaken the cell “walls.”
Consequently, these resistant varieties will turn softer. But, here is the thing: this celluloid isn’t soluble with acid. If the soaking environment is too acidic, then these substances cannot work, and the green split peas won’t soften.
Finally, temperature may affect the peas from softening. There is a specific heat range that the green pea needs to reach to start changing the thickness.
How Do You Soften Hard Peas?
There is a good deal of different equipment that can be used to soften dry peas like a steamer, slow cooker, pressure cooker, saucepan, etc. In this post, we will discuss using the typical common sauce pot or a slow cooker (the process is the same).
The first stage is to wash the green pea carefully under tap water for 3-5 minutes. Rub the fingers to ensure that all plant debris was washed away. Then, soak the dry peas in water for 5 to 6 hours, or overnight.
The second stage is to prepare boiling equipment. After letting the yellow split peas sit out for a night, now take out the pea bowl. Pour water in a separate saucepan and add peas.
The next step is to cook peas with 3 – 4 times more water until it starts steaming. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat, cover the pan with a lid and continue simmering the cooked peas for 1 to 3 hours until you could see the pea crops turning soft.
Consequently, add salt, or miso, or tamari into the cooked peas. Place a lid over the pot and stew until the shelling peas are soft. Then, open the pan and let it evaporate until all the cooking liquid was out.
- Soak the sugar snap peas in warm water
- Add a coffee spoon of salt to the soaking water to boost the soften rate and protect the cover.
- When washing the sugar snap peas, circle the mixture while letting the tap water flow so that all dirt can drop.
- The ideal water – shelling peas ratio: 2: 1
- The standard cooking time is 1 to 4 hours.
- Use cold water for cooking the resistant varieties.
Frozen peas and fresh peas – Which is better?
Both types of English peas have their different strengths and weaknesses, and we should consider these two components to answer this question.
In terms of fresh vegetables, they contain higher amounts of nutrients compared to frozen or canned ones. Besides, the newly harvested peas from the planting bed provide the authentic, once-in-a-lifetime taste.
And that fresh eating experience is unique because each fruit is different. When making hot, boiling dishes like pea soup or pea stew, fresh garden peas must be the best choice.
However, the fresh split peas are always hard to store in the normal storing condition. When delivering across the globe, the fruit can be bruised, ripped, or spoiled without notice.
Meanwhile, the frozen split peas are made to store for a long period. Given that fact, frozen peas are available for people who want to store food in advance but not use it immediately.
Contrary to fresh peas, frozen fruits don’t provide the authentic and “fresh, juicy” taste as people demand. It still has the nutrition but lacks a bit compared to the fresh eating version.
In short, frozen peas and fresh peas are all excellent choices for cooking. However, if you cook peas immediately and love the “fresh” vibe, then fresh peas are great for you.
In case you aren’t certain whether you will use the plant peas or not, then choosing the frozen peas is a smarter choice.
How long to steam frozen peas?
Frozen plant peas are easy to defrost, and the most common method people use is steaming. This method is quick and simple.
First, pour about 2-5 inches of water into a saucepan and boil the water.
Next, cover the pan with a lid and wait for 3 to 5 minutes to defrost. The average time for steaming is from 3 to 5 minutes maximum.