Hoppin’ John

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Appears in

A Canon of Vegetables

A Canon of Vegetables

By Raymond Sokolov

Published 2007

  • About

This stew of rice, black-eyed peas, and rendered pork is a traditional New Year’s Day dish in Charleston, S.C., where it was supposedly once hawked on the street by a one-legged black man named John.


  • 2 cups (about 1 pound) dried black-eyed peas
  • ½ pound salt pork, bacon, or smoked hog jowl, sliced
  • Hot sauce
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat or lard
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup raw long-grain rice


  1. Soak the peas overnight in 6 cups of cold water.
  2. Bring the soaked peas and their water to a boil, add the pork, hot sauce, and salt to taste, reduce the heat, and simmer until the peas are tender, around 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the solid ingredients.
  3. While the peas cook, heat the bacon fat or lard and sauté the onions in it until soft. Meanwhile, bring cups of water to a boil.
  4. Add the boiling water and the onions with their cooking fat to the peas and pork in a large saucepan. Stir in the rice, cover, and cook over medium heat until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.

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