Crab Hoppin’ John

This delightful salad of crab, peas, and rice is a perfect summer lunch when served with vine-ripened tomatoes. If you live where you can get live crabs, you can pick the meat from a dozen large, cooked crabs to provide the pound of crabmeat.


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 pound cooked crabmeat
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • ½ cup lightly flavored oil, such as safflower
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley or another fresh herb of your choice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place the peas and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer the peas, uncovered, until almost all the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. They should no longer taste starchy. Set aside to cool. The rest of the water will be absorbed in cooling.

Add the lemon juice to the crabmeat, tossing it lightly, breaking it up, and checking it carefully for stray pieces of shell. Add it to the peas along with the rice in a serving bowl, tossing lightly with the remaining ingredients, blending carefully so as not to mash the peas.

Correct the seasoning and chill. Serve with fresh tomatoes and a bottle of hot pepper sauce.