Here is what I did, I boiled a bag of frozen peas,about 400 grams, in a pot of water. I checked for tenderness after a while and they were creamy on the inside like I wished they were. I take some out and salt them generously and soon after they turn to a somewhat unpleasant crunchy texture. Is this normal? how can I season my peas without changing their texture? edit: I tasted some after writing this and it seems that they are getting crunchier as they get cooler as well even without salting

  • 1
    How long did you boil them for? Frozen peas need no more than bringing back to the boil, if even that. The longer you cook them, the tougher they get. If you want them salted, salt the water first; though I never salt peas, they really don't need it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:04
  • I just checked on them randomly, frankly I don't remember the total cooking time just that they were good when I turned the gas off.
    – Ahmad Hani
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:23
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    If you gave them more than a couple of minutes, they were probably already over cooked when you turned the gas off. If you didn't immediately drain & serve, then they would continue to cook in the hot water. By the time you came to drain & salt them, they would be completely ruined.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:29
  • Do peas harden when overcooked?
    – Ahmad Hani
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:39
  • 1
    Yes. The longer you cook them, the tougher they get. As far as I know [though I've never tried] there's no rescue once you've done that. Answer added.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


Frozen peas don't really need 'cooking' at all.
The smaller they are the less they need, too; so anything labelled 'garden peas' or 'petit pois' really all you should do is drop them into boiling water, stir & give them maybe 1 minute maximum to heat. Drain & serve immediately.
Don't wait for the water to return to the boil, assuming you have maybe twice the volume of water as peas, just keeping the heat under them for a minute will be sufficient.

They will keep cooking as long as they remain hot, which is possibly why you thought adding the salt afterwards was the trigger. It wasn't, it was that they will simply keep cooking; so the trick is to drain them early rather than late.
I usually drop them as I'm serving the rest of the meal, so they're not waiting around at all, they're just the last thing onto the plate. If I'm adding to something like risotto, I will add right as I'm going to serve. Drop, stir, serve. They'll finish cooking on the way to the table.

If you leave them too long - 2 or 3 minutes is all you've got, maximum - then they will just get harder & harder over time. There's no rescue at this point, they're ruined. Switching off the gas isn't sufficient to stop them over-cooking, you need to get them out of the hot water straight away.

If you want them salted, salt the water first; though I never salt peas, they don't really need it. I do salt almost all other veg, just not peas.

The same, incidentally, applies to sweet corn. On the cob, 6 mins max; as individual kernels, drop them in boiling water, stir, done.

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    you can have a +1 for this if you add that the peas keep cooking so long as they are still hot which is why it looked like adding the salt was the issue and is also why they needed taking out before they reached the ideal point because they'd keep cooking to ideal.
    – MD-Tech
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 11:46
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    The salt probaby compounded the problem to some degree, depending on how much was used. Hot peas shed water through evaporation but, if salted, the salt can additionally draw even more moisture out of the peas to the surface (where it can evaporate).
    – J...
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 12:43

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