Top | The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
Saigon Hoppin’ John
(recipe, Matt Lee & Ted Lee)
This recipe is a meatless, Asian-inspired version of the classic hoppin’ John.
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 stalks (4 inches each) fresh lemongrass, 1 bruised and cut into 4 sections, 1 for garnish
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the peas in a strainer and wash for 1 minute under cold running water, gently tossing them with your hand or a wooden spoon. Place in a large bowl, cover with fresh water, and soak for at least 4 hours.
- Bring the broth to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Add the drained peas, reduce the heat to medium-high, and boil gently until the peas are just tender but still have some bite, about 25 minutes.
- Add the rice, ginger, bruised lemongrass, coconut milk, salt, and sugar, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the rice and peas are tender and the dish has the soupy character of a porridge, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cilantro with a spoon and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the remaining stalk of lemongrass into 6 sections. Serve the hoppin’ John in bowls, steaming hot, with a piece of fresh lemongrass in each.