Recipe | Hoppin’ John Stir-Fry

While we might have lost most of our crop variety since the commercial adoption of monoculture, there are still some people out there trying to preserve America’s great heirloom varieties. Marsh Hen Mill, a family-owned farm on Edisto Island, SC is one of them, growing and milling their own heirloom grains like Sea Island red peas, Carolina gold rice, black eyed peas, and Blue Corn.

Black-eyed peas are a heat-loving drought tolerant crop that can thrive in the rough South Carolina clay dirt. Originally from Africa, Black-eyed peas were brought to the southern United States via slavery. Since African slaves did all the cooking for their American owners, African food & traditions eventually permeated American culture. For example, The African tradition of eating these peas as a symbol of luck, wealth & prosperity was one of many that stuck. Today, southerners in the United States eat Hoppin’ John around New Years, A popular regional dish (with African roots, of course) that features Red Peas or Black-eyed peas, and for many people in the south, symbolizes - You guessed it, luck, wealth, and prosperity.

Today, We’re going to honor the past and look to the future by making a dish inspired by Hoppin’ John. You can add meat to this dish if you’d like, but we find that the beans are substantial.

Note: Cook your black eyed peas until just tender the night before you plan on making this dish. Leave uncovered in your refrigerator overnight.

Ingredients List

  • 1 cup cooked black eyed peas
  • ½ cup broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup white onion, diced
  • ½ raw jalapeno, seeded & finely diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup grilled corn
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Pinch of paprika
  • s&p, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan or Wok on medium heat
  2. Saute your onions until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes
  3. Add your soy sauce, mirin, and paprika and stir to combine
  4. Add your broccoli and carrots and heat through. About 3-5 minutes
  5. Add the rest of your vegetables, excluding the peas.
  6. Once everything has incorporated, add your black eyed peas and heat through
  7. Serve over Carolina gold rice, add a protein, or just enjoy as is with fresh lime juice and cilantro

How to prepare Black Eyed Peas

  1. Soak 2 cups of black beans in water until fully submerged. Cover with a towel and leave overnight
  2. When ready to cook, drain & rinse the beans. Return to a pot and add 5 cups of water or broth.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce, and let simmer for 45-60 minutes or until beans reach desired texture.
  4. Once al dente, set aside and cool while preparing your stir-fry.

Recipe courtesy of Charleston Chef Service.

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