Top | The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

Saigon Hoppin’ John

(recipe, Matt Lee & Ted Lee)

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This recipe is a meatless, Asian-inspired version of the classic hoppin’ John.


  1. 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
  2. 6 cups vegetable broth
  3. 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  4. 1 tsp. ground ginger
  5. 2 stalks (4 inches each) fresh lemongrass, 1 bruised and cut into 4 sections, 1 for garnish
  6. 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  7. ½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  8. ½ tsp. sugar
  9. ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  10. Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.