Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon Aioli

Snap peas are fried in a light semolina batter inspired by Italian fritto misto and served with tarragon aïoli for dipping.

Fried Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon Aioli
Photo: Carson Downing
Start To Finish Time:
45 mins
5 cups


  • ¾ cup all purpose flour

  • ¾ cup finely milled semolina flour (such as Bob's Red Mill) or all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken

  • 6 cup vegetable oil or canola oil

  • 1 pound sugar snap pea pods, trimmed, strings removed, and patted dry

  • 2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

  • Lemon wedges

  • Tarragon Aioli (see recipe)

Tarragon Aioli

  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 large egg*

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • ¾ cup canola oil

  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


  1. In a large bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt. Pour buttermilk into a rimmed shallow dish or pie plate. Line a rimmed baking sheet or large heat-safe plate with paper towels.

  2. Pour the oil into an extra-large heavy-bottom skillet. Heat over medium-high until 365°F to 375°F. Working in batches, dunk pea pods in buttermilk and use tongs to turn, coat, and lift them, allowing excess to drip off. Immediately toss the pea pods gently in the flour mixture to coat them. Lift them, gently shaking off any excess flour, then carefully lower them into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan.

  3. Fry pea pods 3 minutes or until golden brown all over and crisp. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove pea pods from oil, allowing excess oil to drip off; transfer to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet or plate. Generously sprinkle with flaky sea salt while hot. Repeat until all pea pods are fried, adjusting heat as needed to maintain oil temperature. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and Tarragon Aïoli. Serves 6.

Tarragon Aioli

  1. To make a garlic paste, chop the garlic and 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt together, then press down on the garlic with the side of your knife. Move the side of the knife back and forth against the garlic and salt until a paste forms.

  2. Place the garlic paste, egg, mustard, lemon juice, and an additional 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt in a food processor; process 5 seconds or until mixture is just combined. With food processor running, very slowly drizzle a small amount of the canola oil through the feed tube. Continue processing while maintaining a small but steady stream of oil. (It should take 2 to 4 minutes to drizzle in the full 3/4 cup of canola oil.)

  3. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add tarragon. With processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down sides of bowl and season with up to 1 tsp. additional lemon juice. Serve with Fried Sugar Snap Peas or refrigerate, covered, up to 5 days. Makes 1 cup.

I think it is important to note the importance of removing the strings from the snap peas here as well as maintaining the right oil temperature and not overcrowding the pan while frying. -enough oil is needed to fill the cooking vessel about one-third full -re: the aioli, after using mint in the flatbread I thought that mint might be omitted here. I made mint optional in the ingredient list to reflect this thinking and flexibility. It works well either way. Fried Sugar Snap Peas are best served immediately, but you can transfer the prepared heat-safe pan or plate to a 200-degree oven for up to 30 minutes if needed.


Use a pasteurized egg if you have a compromised immune system or food safety concerns.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

671 Calories
56g Fat
38g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 671
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 56g 72%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 1391mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 58.7mg 293%
Calcium 194mg 15%
Iron 3.6mg 20%
Potassium 282mg 6%
Folate, total 65.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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