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Feb 17, 2008 07:30 PM

Hoppin John

I am looking for a terrific Hoppin John recipe--I usually make John Thorne's but I have misplaced SERIOUS PIG--and figure its time for a change!

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  1. Black Eyed Peas (Hoppin' John)
    Serves: 6


    • 2 cups dried black eyed peas
    • 6 cups water
    • 4 strips bacon, cut into inch pieces
    • 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
    • ½ cup green onions, chopped
    • 4 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 large smoked ham hock
    • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced ½ inch thick
    • 1 teaspoon Creole Seasonings
    • 1 teaspoon Tabasco ®
    • 2 bay leaves


    1. In a black cast iron pot, sauté the bacon until limp then add the onions, bell pepper, green onions, parsley and garlic.
    2. Cook until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add the peas, ham hock and ham to the pot and add enough water to make 6 cups.
    4. Stir.
    5. Add the seasonings and stir.
    6. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours or until beans become tender and have made a thick sauce.
    7. Stir to prevent scorching on bottom.
    8. Add additional water to keep peas covered.
    9. Serve over boiled rice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: speyerer

      What is the origin the name “Hoppin’ John”? there are several theories:

      1. Hoppin’ John is a corruption of the French “pois a’ pigeon” (pwah ah pee-ZHAN), which when pronounced in the Creole manner sounds very much like hoppin’ John.
      2. Hoppin John was the name of a lively African-American waiter with a limp who served the dish at a Charleston hotel.
      3. Hoppin’ John was a husband named John who came hoppin’ to the table as dinner was served.
      4. Hoppin’ Johns were waiters hoppin' to serve hungry dinners in John's restaurant in Charleston.
      5. Hoppin John was a lame cook who hopped up and down while cooking it.
      6. Hoppin’ John was the dish served to a Carolina sea captain on New Year’s Day who was told to “Hop in, John.”
      7. Hoppin’ John was the name of an old ritual on New Year's Day in which the children in the house hopped once around the table before eating the dish.

    2. Best served with a bowl of collards simmered with ham hocks and some real cornbread (no sugar) cooked in a piping hot iron skillet in the oven. It gets no better.

      1. Hoppin' John is great, first time I had this was at Bill Neal's Crook's Corner in Carboro NC. Tricky to make though, as I recall, don't let the rice get overdone. Hmm... I see that the recipe here doesn't have rice! Here's Neal's recipe:

        Hoppin' John

        2 cups cooked black eyed peas
        2 cups cooked rice
        1 cup chopped fresh tomato
        1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
        1/2 tsp salt
        1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
        Cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

        Heat peas and rice separately if cold. Combine in skillet, sprinkle with tomatoes and scallions, season with salt and pepper, cover and heat through. Add cheese when serving if desired.

        Serves 4 to 6.

        1. Hoppin' John Squares

          1 cup green peppers, chopped
          1 cup sweet onions, chopped
          2 tbsp. butter
          1 cup blackeyed peas, cooked
          1 cup rice, cooked
          ¾ cup ham, diced
          1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
          1 cup rice, cooked
          3 eggs, beaten
          1. Saute chopped onions, then the chopped pepper; put in large mixing bowl.
          2. Add the peas, rice, cheese, and diced ham; mix well.
          3. Add the beaten eggs.
          4. Turn into a well greased 8x882 inch baking dish.
          5 Bake in a 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until set. Top with remaining cheese, let stand for 5 minutes.
          6 Cut into 2 inch squares, serve.

          We like lots of onions and so use a cup, but if less are preferred, that's fine.

          This is part of our New Year's Day 'good luck' dinner.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MacDivots

            Do you have any advice about the rice? When I tried to replicate Neal's recipe (years ago now, it's great that you're posting BTW) this seemed key, soggy rice just doesn't work for hoppin' John.


            1. re: steinpilz

              Boiled Rice

              Serves: 6

              With this method of boiling, the rice will come out grain for grain, firm but cooked and free of excess starchy residues. No more gummy rice that sticks together in globs.


              • 14 cups of water
              • 2 teaspoons salt
              • 2-4 cups long grain rice


              1. Fill a 6 quart pot with 14 cups of water. Do not alter the water volume.
              2. Bring the water to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of salt.
              3. When the water is boiling rapidly, pour in up to 4 cups of rice. "Up to 4 cups"; you can boil a half-cup or 4 cups, it makes no difference.
              4. When the water comes back to a boil, reduce the heat but keep the water actively bubbling, and begin to consider your cooking time.
              5. As the rice cooks, you should continue to stir the rice every 2 or 3 minutes to distribute the heat also you need not cover the pot while the rice is boiling.
              6. It should take no more than 15 minutes for the rice to be completely, perfectly cooked.
              7. Taste a few grains of the rice to be sure there are no hard centers.
              8. When the rice tastes cooked to you, immediately take it off the heat, pour it into a colander and rinse well with hot water.

              1. re: speyerer

                Thanks speyerer, I'm motivated to try again. Will post results.