This is a traditional Southern feast on New Year’s Day. It’s a wonderful blend of rice, black-eyed peas, and ham that will make you happy all year.

1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
6 strips salt pork or bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups cooked rice

Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce
1/2 cup minced green onions, including tops

Rinse peas and pick them over. Cover with cold water; add 1 tablespoon salt and let stand overnight.

Drain peas, discarding water, and place in a 6 to 8-quart stockpot. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, saute salt pork or bacon until crisp; add it to the peas, reserving the drippings.

Add onion, a little salt and 2 cups water. Bring just to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until peas are tender, about 20 minutes. A small amount of the cooking liquid should remain; if liquid is absorbed too quickly, add fresh water by1/4 cups.
When peas are tender, add cooked rice to pot. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes longer so flavors combine and rice absorbed some of the remaining cooking liquid.
To serve, garnish with green onions.

Makes 6-7 servings.

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4 Comments so far »

  1. Fred O. said

    March 10 2009 @ 8:43 am

    It has always been a tradition in our Family to make sure we have penty of Hoppin Johns on New Years,As the story goes you will have a year of “Bad Luck”if you don’t have at least a spoon full.I will have to admit, for myself there is no problem putting away a plate full plus the cornbread,its something we enjoy eating more than once a year.

  2. elaine m. jones said

    December 29 2014 @ 5:06 pm

    This is not traditional Charleston sc hoppin john – it’s made with dried cow peas and the rice is cooked with the peas and juice. My mother and grandmother made it this way – grandmother was born in Charleston in 1887.

  3. Maranda Everson said

    May 14 2015 @ 10:20 am

    I love this we eat it once a month or so I have also added scrambles sausage or Chorizo instead of bacon!! And Yes even in the UK we still have it often

  4. Melissa said

    October 14 2017 @ 9:03 pm

    I was raised in the low country tradition. Dad was from Colleton County and attended the Citadel. Dad passed on this year at the ripe old age of 94 and I miss him still. However, the traditions that my Mom cooked just for him, linger in my memory and on our family table every New Year’s Day. Peas for “peace” (Hoppin’ John) and rice for “riches” were staples in that meal. Proud to be a Southern lady.

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