Hoppin' John

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"In the South, tradition says on New Year's Day you should eat Hoppin' John to ensure good luck for the coming year. There are varying theories on the black-eyed peas, with some saying each person should leave three on their plates to symbolize luck, fortune and romance for the coming year, while others say the person who gets the most peas will have the most luck in the coming year. The greens are symbolic of money, and are supposed to ensure prosperity for the coming year. Sometimes a penny is added to the pot (like the traditional baby in a King Cake), and the person who gets the penny in their serving is considered the luckiest. Adding extra greens such as kale, Swiss chard, or mustard is said to increase the amount of wealth and luck you will have. Often, instead of bacon people will use ham hocks, but I prefer bacon because I think it has better flavour and it's easier to deal with."

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (219.2 g)
  • Calories 167.7
  • Total Fat - 5.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 1.6 g
  • Cholesterol - 11.5 mg
  • Sodium - 477.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 20.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 4.5 g
  • Sugars - 2.5 g
  • Protein - 9.7 g
  • Calcium - 125.7 mg
  • Iron - 1.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 6.1 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step 1

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat for 2-3 minutes; add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp and vegetables are tender.

Step 2

Stir in black-eyed peas and rice; then add water and stir to combine.

Step 3

Bring just to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.

Step 4

Stir in greens, cover and simmer another 5 minutes, until greens are wilted.

Step 5

Season with salt and pepper.

Step 6

Serve with as much of your favourite hot sauce as you like (I do about 8-10 dashes of Tabasco on mine).

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.