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How do you make Black Eyed Peas?!!

I always thought I didn't like them. The few times I tried them they were mushy and starchy. Then a Nepalese restaurant here in Boise has been adding them to my food and I find the DELICIOUS. (They are not mushy at all. They have a little bite to them) I was at Whole Foods and on a whim I got some from the bulk bin ... now how do I cook them? I have no idea. My gut instinct is to soak over night and then saute them in a little onion and olive oil. Does this make sense? - I just don't want to boil them. I don't want them to turn out like the peas I didn't like.

I need help :-)

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  1. You cook dried black eyed peas the same way you cook dried beans, but you don't have to cook them as long.

    I do mine in the pressure cooker. I don't have to soak them first, as I would do dried beans.

    Here is a basic recipe: http://tinyurl.com/plq454b

    Black eyed peas are wonderful cooked with salt meat for seasoning. But you can cook them without meat. You can certainly cook them in whatever broth you like. Add onion, celery, garlic, carrot to the beans to flavor the pot. Also, add bay leaf and whatever herbs/spices you want to further flavor the.

    I like to cook them in tomatoes, but I hesitate to recommend that because tomatoes supposedly keep the peas from getting done. And yet I've done it, and I think the taste is great.

    Add a little grated cheese to the finished bowl, if you like.

    1. Do you know for sure that the ones you liked were cooked from dried? I greatly prefer fresh or frozen from fresh when it comes to southern (cow) peas.

      7 Replies
      1. re: kengk

        I have no idea at all!

        I knew I didn't want to go with canned ... I probably should have looked in the freezer. I'll do that next time. My idea of sauteing would probably go over better with fresh.

        I'll just experiment with these and see how it goes. (I'll follow the basic recipe and add some flavor)

        1. re: rachel83706

          Even with fresh I don't think sauteeing will work well.

          Cooking dried black eyed peas by boiling makes a very nice bowl of legumes.

          1. re: sueatmo

            Let's refine that by saying simmer rather than boiling. Yes?

            @OP: I soak overnight, then sauté some onion and pork fat of some type in your oil of choice (I like lard). Add the peas and water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook til tender but not mushy. Times will vary.

            1. re: c oliver

              I too, would suggest changing verbs like 'saute' and 'boil' to that of simmer (not for hours since you don't want mush, but more than a quick saute) and unless you're a vegetarian, some form of pork fat really helps.

              garlic has a most welcome place in this.

              1. re: hill food

                Garlic works well with blackeyed peas. Agreed.

              2. re: c oliver

                Agree. Actually I pressure cook mine, but I set the power as low as I can to maintain pressure.

        2. In my experience fresh black eyed peas are so different from dried ones as to be an altogether different food. I love both.

          1. I always use dried black-eyed peas and never soak overnight. Since you're new to this make sure you sort through to check for small stones, bad peas etc. Then cover with water and bring to a slow simmer. This is where I'll notice a grassy type smell and greenish color to the water. I drain and rinse. Then cover with water(maybe add a can of chicken broth if I have it), onion, garlic, jalapeño & plenty of chopped bacon. Let simmer away for a few hours until tender, thick and creamy. But since you said it was from a Nepalese place this might not be exactly what you're looking for..:-)

            3 Replies
            1. re: miss_belle

              Unfortunately, this sounds like what I don't like ... sorry. To each there own ;-)

                1. re: rachel83706

                  I definitely don't cook for even an hour. I haven't fixed in a while so can't say for sure. But I don't like them too soft either.

              1. found this recipe but am confused:

                Sauteed Black Eyed Peas

                1. 1 cup of black eyed peas - whole foods carries the organic kind in bulk or there is an organic canned brand from Italy that fares pretty well with me.

                2. 1 clove organic garlic

                3. 1/2 organic yellow onion

                4. 2 stalks organic green onion

                5. 1 cup organic vegetable stock

                6. 1 cup dry or one can black eyed peas

                7. Small piece of chili pepper

                8. Sea salt, black pepper

                9. Organic coconut oil

                In a sautee pan heat up 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on medium heat. After about a minute, add in the chopped garlic, green onions, chili pepper, and onion and sautee for about 10 minutes.

                Then add the black eyed peas, salt and black pepper and stir the mixture until it's combined and add the vegetable stock.

                Cover and sauteed for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve with rice, for this dish I preper white or saffron rice.

                ***Did he just assume we knew to soak the beans overnight? I mean if you could use canned or dried - I assume he doesn't mean DRY - right?

                (LOL! Believe it or not I am an awesome cook! I've just never done anything like this before)

                7 Replies
                1. re: rachel83706

                  #1 and #6, what's that about? Dried peas are going to need FAR more liquid than that. Now I'm really confused.

                  1. re: rachel83706

                    that IS confusing. source please.

                    yes, you couldn't use bone-dry peas with the same timing/method as canned or soaked.

                      1. re: rachel83706

                        Well, that recipe is either wrong or stupid. Using fresh and dried peas in one recipe with little liquid. NO.

                          1. re: rachel83706

                            bad proof-reading. that first line item shouldn't have been numbered but instead included in the header.

                            #6. should have specified either dry peas that have been soaked OR canned, or the cooking time changed drastically later in the directions.

                            you CAN make them straight from dry, but IMHO not in 15-20 minutes (unless ya like 'em REALLY crunchy!).

                            otherwise the flavors used sound good, I'd amp up the proportions, but that's just me.

                    1. re: rachel83706

                      Well, sautee is not a verb that I would use for these: it sounds like it is a simmer, using vegetable stock.

                      I don't know about coconut oil, but otherwise the recipe sounds good. I will say, that you might have to cook the beans for longer than the recipe states. Go buy tenderness. You never know with dried legumes.

                      I am puzzled by the subbing of canned peas for this. I think the canned, or possibly the frozen, might work better than dried in this recipe.

                      I think I'd try this with the fresh frozen peas. They are probably pretty good.

                      Oops, just caught the last entry. So, now you know what to try. Good luck!

                    2. You have to simmer dried beans - there's just no way around this step.

                      But YOU are controlling the time...so just cook them until they're "al dente" -- til they have the consistency YOU want.

                      But no, you can't saute them directly after an overnight soak, unless you have a discount plan with your local dentist.

                      (they're also hard to digest when they're not cooked completely).

                      It's fine if you don't want to cook them til they break down, but you have to cook them.

                      1. Take a 303 can, dump juice and all into a saute' pan when just to a boil, ad about a 1/2 pound of cooked frozen salad shrimp, some garlic and a little soy sauce. when the shrimp are heated through, serve over rice. Delicious!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                          One New Year's I hadn't bought my dried peas ahead of time and was shocked (here in NoCal) to find that the grocery was out. I looked for frozen. Nope. Settled for canned. They were nasty tasting and we threw them out. Hopefully that one bite was enough for the luck we were looking for :)

                          BTW, what are salad shrimp?

                          1. re: c oliver

                            little-bitty ones that are fit for a salad and little else.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Like Bay shrimp? Which I don't eat cause they have, for me, NO flavor.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I don't care for salad shrimp tastewise -- yes, they're bland.

                                But they're cute in something like shrimp salad in an avocado boat.

                        2. What's the name of the nepalese place in Boise? Chow mom lives there and loves black eyed peas!! Thx

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: yumyum

                            I was going to suggest that OP go there and get advice on cooking.

                            1. re: yumyum

                              It is http://www.momodumpling.com/ and it is a family run place on Eagle Rd. IT IS SOOO GOOD!! They are the nicest people and have the best food!

                              It's funny because I always told them to omit the black eyed peas ... but then one day I just decided their food was so delicious that maybe they knew what they were doing. I am so glad I took that chance! I am usually adventurous when it comes to food - I just always had mushy peas in the past. Just like I've always been given slimey okra - and I DON'T LIKE slimey okra ...

                              I should go on their Facebook page and ask how they make their peas. That's not a bad idea :-)

                              1. re: rachel83706

                                Nobody likes slimy okra. If it's slimy, they're doin' it wrong.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  sunshine :), I think non-believers think that non-fried okra is "slimy."

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I wonder why:) I've posted on FB before about my first dismal encounter with okra, but it bears repeating. My Air Force family was living in Sumter, South Carolina, and we had what we called at the time, a Negro cook. God, could she cook, and taught my mom how to make many great southern dishes. One day, she brought us a basket of okra from her garden. Mom had never seen these before, and asked her how to prepare them. "Jes bile them," was the answer, and that's what Mom did.

                                    At the dinner table: Mom to my left, little brother to my right, father to his right, older brother across from me. Biled okra appears on plates. We all look. Older brother bravely (he was in swatting distance of the father figure) proclaims: "I am NOT eating THAT." Lil bro and I chime in.

                                    Dad says, "look, I'll take a bite," which he does. Traumatic facial expressions follow, along with a gulp. Dad's verdict? "Okay, no one has to eat that."

                                    I like fried okra, and okra in stews and gumbo, but "biled" okra will never again pass my lips.

                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                      Not "biled." Stewed. Here's one recipe:


                                      Do you have Bon Appetit Y'all? She has a recipe.

                                      NEVER BOILED!!!! :(

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        your cook's word for boiled, probably included a few steps and considerations she assumed didn't even NEED be said.

                                      2. re: pikawicca

                                        Oh, I've got my own tale...

                                        When I was a new bride, married to a Southerner, I was trying to make his favorite foods. I went out and bought huge, fat okra (bigger than my thumb), washed them, rubbed the spines off with a dish towel, then *sliced* them, and *boiled* them.

                                        When hubby got home, I proudly set that bowl of okra on the table....and was horrified when his picked up a spoon with the most godawful slime trailing from the spoon back to the bowl. Needless to say, nobody ate that okra.

                                        Steamed okra are fine, especially if you buy tiny ones -- just *trim* the stem ends; don't cut them.

                                        Stewed okra are delicious, especially when stewed with tomatoes.

                                        Fried okra *can* be sliced, and when done right, is a.may.zing.

                                        And okra can be sliced and added to stews, where the slime does a great job of making a silky broth better known as "gumbo".

                                        Okra is also knows as gombas outside the US - it doesn't take much of a linguist to see the connection between "gombas" and "gumbo".

                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                          Okra is one of the you-pick farms crops near us. Tucson isn't exactly a mecca for farming vegetables, but Willcox is, at least nearby. Anyway, I eat some okra raw when I'm picking it, it's so good, and a little bit okra-ish, but the flavor is so good.

                                    2. re: rachel83706

                                      "but then one day I just decided their food was so delicious that maybe they knew what they were doing. I am so glad I took that chance" - rachel the OP

                                      'hound creds right there.

                                  2. Wash them throw into a crock pot with a smoked hamhock or two depending on the size of hocks. add some onion chopped up and cover it all with water let cook for 4 or 5 hours adding more water as it boils down. Donot add salt until cooked completely. About the only thing that will improve on this would be a pan of corn bread to go with it. It is very easy to cook beans of anykind....... just don't salt or they will never soften up. Only add after they are cooked. You can also presoak the beans the night before for quicker cooking.

                                    1. How about roasted or fried? I haven't tried them, but they sure looked good on Best Thing I Ever Ate.



                                      1. So I made them tonight!!

                                        THANKS so much for all the replies!!

                                        I guess I ended up making a "hoppin' John" of sorts and it was GOOD! Here is what I did:

                                        Picked through and soaked apprx 1 cup of BEPs for about 6hrs
                                        Diced half a large sweet onion, 3 stalks celery, 4 mini peppers (from Costco 2 red, 2 orange), 4 garlic gloves and a chunk of canadian bacon - sauteed it in 2T of organic coconut oil until veggies were tender and bacon was crispy.
                                        Added BEPs and 2 cans chicken stock, salt , pepper, and Forward seasoning from Penzey Spices ... Brought it to a boil, covered and let it simmer for 30 mins. Meanwhile I made some Jasmine rice in the rice cooker. After 30 mins The rice was done (I made it a little hard and sticky on purpose) and I added it to the BEP mix and turned off the heat. Stirred it and let it absorbed the rest of the liquid for about 5 mins or so.

                                        It turned out REALLY GOOD!! :-D

                                        11 Replies
                                        1. re: rachel83706

                                          YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love your success story. Thanks for reporting back.

                                          1. re: rachel83706

                                            "and a chunk of canadian bacon" that works for me, I was trying to remember what I used last time, it was hog jowl. that worked quite well (and dirt cheap). there are ways of getting good flavor out of a vegetarian or even vegan version, but well, it's a pain, there I said it, I'll hand in my 'slow-food' ID and call it a day.

                                            BEPs done right are great and very high in protein, fiber and I think vitamins A and C...

                                            glad it worked for you, now you have a new yucky-day comfort food recipe.

                                            1. re: hill food

                                              And a source for good luck on New Year's!!!

                                                1. re: hill food

                                                  Well, then you got your BEPs, your hog jowl so I'm sure the greens (for wealth) were right there. I long ago converted Bob to this meal. Several decades ago I had a Super Bowl party (they used to be in January) and I did the traditional New Year's dinner (pork roast instead of jowls). One of my "Yankee" friends said "I'm not so sure about those peas." She was the first one back for seconds.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    I think I made a radicchio/arugula thing. I didn't see fresh greens at the store and it wasn't the season for foraging dandelion. guess I could have done chard or bok choy.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        collard, turnip, radish, dandelion. all good, but in a pinch bitter lettuces can stand in.

                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                            yep - fresh or sizzled in a little bacon grease.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              oh yes, any green can be eaten with a little care. 'poke salad' refers to some broad-leaf weeds found in the yard. actually good if treated right.

                                          2. Some of the grocery stores here carry little bags of fresh black eyed peas in the produce section. They are also pretty easy to grow. If you can get your hands on fresh ones, it will make all the difference in the world! You don't have to get fancy with fresh ones at all. Throw them in with a ham hock, make some cornbread, and you're in business!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: arashall

                                              I live where you live, and the local farmer's outlet has them in summertime. A local Chinese chef, Dorothy Huang, uses chicken stock, a little ketchup, and bacon, among other things.

                                              1. re: arashall

                                                I get fresh BEP's in my CSA bag (not quite yet, but soon). I'm always stumped on how to cook them. There is very little information on the web about fresh peas.
                                                Do you simmer in stock or just saute the peas? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

                                                1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                  pages - fresh? you can cook them like the soaked or the canned (and with no added salt lurking) or in a hummus-kinda-thing like you might with garbanzos. they're pretty much good to go as is with any of the methods given upstream. the extra steps would be if you were trying to do completely dry ones. fresh are already tender so a brief simmer at most. those in fact might be nice done in a saute like butter beans. (but I'd still toss in lots of garlic and maybe porkfat)

                                              2. has anyone mentioned Texas Caviar? http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes... (except you can sub frozen or dried(then cooked beans


                                                I like them cooked C Oliver's way and then mixed with vinegary greens and white rice. Maybe some pork alongside. Lots of hot pepper vinegar. YUM.

                                                I also use left over black eyed peas to make refried beans. Mash them, throw them in the pan with some bacon grease or lard or oil and let them cook and then set to sizzle so the edges get crisp. So good.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                  My peas are ALWAYS served over rice with the vinegary greens 'leaking' their goodness into the peas and rice. Or if eating leftovers in a bowl everything including the pork goes in. Just had half a sandwich for lunch and now I'm starving :)

                                                  NOTE: When I freeze them, I label the container BEPs. We both know what that is :)

                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                      greens do want a nice dose of peppery vinegar. a vegetarian friend who recently started cooking things like greens asked "how do you make that?" and all I could say was "uhh you take a mild vinegar, rice vinegar is good and toss in some hot peppers (your call which kind) and just let it sit for a few days"

                                                      I think my answer disappointed her.

                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                    I like a big dollop of my homemade hot (hot) pepper jelly on my peas. That and sliced tomatoes from the garden and whatever else I have to eat out of there.

                                                  2. I got to thinking about your BEP needs and recall a sorta Greek way of doing them.

                                                    So I got to looking around for the one I was thinking of and came across a recipe that made my mouth water (really - it watered):

                                                    And you can serve these sorts of things over/mixed with quinoa or orzo (tarted up if you want - or add extra goodies in the salad).

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                      OHHH YES PLEASE!! I can stick my fork in that!! :-D

                                                      Thanks for sharing!!

                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                        don't you just love a good mash-up? (not fusion, a plain-old unconsidered, time will only produce, mash-up)

                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                          Yep. I call that "smack smack smack of the lips... hmmm... what's missin?" or "We need to clean out the fridge!" Today I made indian potato and garbanzo leftovers shmeared into a corn tortilla and fried on the griddle.

                                                          Heaven sent.

                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                            I'd eat that. maybe I'd doctor it a bit, but....

                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              I'd suggest cilantro and some sort of sauce. I made a lime and yogurt sauce for it and it was not exactly right. Maybe some sort of green chutney. MMMM.

                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                oh yes, once at a work picnic, the Indian guy's chutney worked so frickin' well with the Greek guy's tzatziki slathered on whatever came off the grill and wrapped in somebody else's flatbread it was criminal.

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  MMM.. That is the classic "You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!" situation.

                                                      2. rachel83706

                                                        Long. helpful i hope:

                                                        Fresh BEP = rinse and drain. Pick your culinary orientation -southern; south asian/indian; african, etc. In a saute pan, heat the appropriate oil/fat then add spices and chopped aromatics (garlic, onion, shallots, ginger) and flavoring meat if used (ham, bacon, asian sausage, chicken chunks or organ meat, etc).

                                                        Add a proportional amount of stock, broth, water, wine (1 and1/2 c liquid to 1 c. BEP) cover and simmer gently. Check after 10 minutes, taste peas, adjust seasoning and flavorings (salt, heat, sweet, sour). Add a little more liquid or alot more if a soupy version is wanted. Simmer again till as tender as you prefer. If you make a large quantity, you can cool and freeze half. Pull this 1/2 when still a little a dente, cool and freeze, be sure to label.

                                                        southern = bacon fat/lard/olive oil; vidalia or wadmalaw sweet onion, pork (bacon, hamhock, hog jowl etc) hot pepper, black pepper, pork or chicken stock. Serve over rice (prefer carolina gold) add hot sauce, tomato relish, hot pepper vinegar, onion chow-chow (of course) or what ever you like. you're doing scratch corn bread, right?

                                                        south asian/indian (check w/local sources). I use ghee, peanut or coconut oil, onion, scallion, ginger (Lots), garlic (lots), a fresh ground spice mix of cardamon, coriander, mustard seed, nigella, turmeric - whatever you like. Add coconut milk (NOT sweet, unless thats what you want) or vegetable broth. Serve over basmati rice (biryani style is great). Sometimes i add lime leaves, lemongrass. Garnish w/chopped peanuts, scallions or shallots, fresh coriander - you get the idea. Serve hot chutney, fish sauce, srichia on the side. Add a cool cuke-yogurt raita.

                                                        african = (again search on BEP african) palm or coconut oil, onion, garlic, palm sugar, hot peppers, garlic, diced yam or sweet potato, bell peppers, whole tiny gombo (okras), tomato. Add browned goat chunks if you've got 'em (or not), turmeric, ginger. Add water or veg. broth. Serve with harissa or pound/process fresh coriander with palm or coconut oil, lemon or lime juice, a little sugar. kinda like pesto.

                                                        Overcooked BEP = bean patties african style, like falafel. Add chick-pea flour, lots of minced onion and garlic, hot pepper, if necessary a tiny bit of liquid, egg if necessary, form patties, dip in cornmeal lightly, fry in hot, shallow oil,
                                                        watch carefully, drain and keep hot. You can put these on fresh corn bread and pick a cool or hot chutney or sauce, fold fresh tortilla aound them w/avocado or chredded, marianated cabbage, eat with nan or other indian bread. or in pita with yogurt raita, cucumber, mint.

                                                        OK? this same process above works, with a little tweaking, with all kinds of beans and peas. Patties are best made with cooked dried beans/peas.

                                                        I'm here waiting on fresh green seivy butter beans, crowder peas, pink-eye peas, lady peas, cream peas, speckled butter beans, sea island red field peas... sigh.


                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: kariin

                                                          THANK YOU, KARIIN!!

                                                          That was very informative - and extremely useful. I will copy for future reference.

                                                          Thank you for sharing :-)

                                                          1. re: kariin

                                                            Kariin, Thank you for taking the time to write this post. I had saved this conversation for the season of fresh BEPs (which is now for me) and I have a skillet of southern style peas simmering away right now. I saved this post to my "recipe box" to refer to again.

                                                            1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                              I want to save it too. How do you save to a recipe box from within a discussion thread?

                                                          2. They're actually my favorite bean! You can substitute them for any other kind of bean. Soak overnight then boil until al dente. Then saute etc.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                                1. re: fara

                                                                  I would never boil them. Simmer til done. And I don't understand the sauté part.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    If you boil beans, they will break down in the turbulent water and leave you with a pot of mush.


                                                            1. I usually use the USDA hot soak method.

                                                              Add the beans to a pot of boiling water, simmer about a minute and take off the heat. Soak about an hour or two.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: dave_c

                                                                I do this if I'm short of time or if I forgot to soak the beans.

                                                                I think the beans have lots more flavor if they're soaked in salted water overnight.

                                                              2. I know you said don't boil, but any cooking method you like is fine as the swiss chard is a natural with the peas:


                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                  That first boil takes the place of soaking. The second cooking is on low. You don't boil peas (or really any beans that I can think of).

                                                                2. Hi Rachel, If the beans are fresh or dried, clean and pick out the broken or weird looking pieces. Wash and set aside. Takes about 3 to 4 quarts of chicken broth and bring to the boil. Brown onions, garlic and a ham steak. Add to the boiling chicken broth, along with the peas. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place on medium low and slow cook for 3 to 4 hours. If the peas are canned, do the same steps and boil for about 30 minutes to one hour on low heat to blend the flavors.