Hoppin’ John is a traditional recipe of rice and peas enjoyed throughout the Southern states every New Year’s Day. Add it to your menu for good luck!
Hoppin’ John is a very old, traditional New Year’s Day dish eaten throughout the South. Served alongside greens (either collards, turnips, or mustard greens), it represents good luck and prosperity for the new year.
I can honestly say that I have eaten black eyed peas every New Year’s Day for my entire life. We take our traditions seriously in the South :-)
There are lots of theories about how the combination of peas and rice came to be known as Hoppin’ John. I don’t know which, if any, of them are true, I just know that this is honest, simple food that connects me to my roots.
According to Gwen at Pratesi Living, the original components of Hoppin’ John were Carolina Gold Rice and Sea Island Red Peas. Not black-eyed peas.
Sea Island Red Peas are pretty hard to find these days, but I did happen to have some Carolina Gold Rice from a recent trip to Charleston and I used it for this recipe. It was delicious!
About the Ingredients
- Rice (If you have access to Carolina gold rice, please use it! Otherwise, substitute any “white” rice that you like. Basmati is particularly delicious.)
- Black-eyed peas(Make your life easier and use canned black-eyed peas. If you use dried peas, you’ll need to adjust prep and cooking times to allow for soaking and cooking the peas.)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Hoppin’ John
Let’s Go Step-by-Step
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.
Cook the Rice
Start the rice by bringing water, salt and butter to a boil. Add the rice, lower the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Keep it warm until the peas are ready.
Saute the Vegetables
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil until the vegetables are very tender.
Add the Peas
Add the peas, broth, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes or until the peas are completely heated through. Stir in the parsley.
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- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 red or green bell pepper chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 30 ounces canned black eyed peas rinsed and drained (2 cans)
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 large tomato seeded and diced
- Bring the water, butter and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Stir in the rice.
- Cover, reduce heat to low and cook approximately 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent.
- Add the black eyed peas, stock, salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 10 minutes.
- Stir in the parsley.
- Serve the peas over a bed of rice.
- Garnish with chopped green onions and tomato.
- If you have access to Carolina gold rice, please use it! Otherwise, substitute any “white” rice that you like. Basmati is particularly delicious.
- Make your life easier and use canned black-eyed peas. If you use dried peas, you’ll need to adjust prep and cooking times to allow for soaking and cooking the peas.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on August 29, 2011.