Pan-Fried Black-eyed Peas – “healthy” fried and convenient black-eyed pea recipe substitute for traditional long-simmered pot of soul-food version.
I love old traditional ways of cooking especially my grandmother’s soul food recipes, which require high involvement, and are slow and long. However, given the pace of our lives I’m always looking for effective and efficient ways to reproduce the flavor in those recipes that require less time.
My Ma Dear’s black-eyed peas were always garlicky and smokey, the latter achieved via smoked ham hocks. While I can’t argue that my 15 minute pan-fried black-eyed peas have the same deep love of Ma Dear’s, but technically they deliver the goods from a flavor perspective. I spent many long enjoyable days in the kitchen with her. I was part sous chef and part Young and the Restless recap for her. Her health declined as I came into my own in the kitchen so we never really had the opportunity to talk shop and/or cook together. I would have loved to be back with now to cook with her, swapping flavor and technique tips. There is no doubt we’d have had the chemistry of some of the greatest duets of all time including Marvin and Tammi, Ashford and Simpson, and Roberta and Donny.
The flavors are replicated by infusing the olive oil first. I used a lot of garlic and was generous with the smoked sweet paprika. And for good measure I added onions and red peppers for a quick saute in the same oil before adding the black-eyed peas. For reasons of time and convenience I used canned black-eyed peas. They also have the extra texture benefit. Because of the short cook time, these black-eyed peas have some snap and crunch too them vs. the creamy old school soul food version.
Though I’ve never tried it, I suspect bacon or duck fat would add even more flavor. However, I wanted to keep these pan-fried black-eyed peas vegan. Chickpeas are enjoying their time in the sun, as there are many recipes for crispy fried chickpeas out there. That’s great since I’m a fan of chickpeas, but flavor wise they don’t stand against black-eyed peas. And though the cooking process is similar, pan-fried black-eyed peas are definitely a side vs. a snack that fried chickpeas are consumed as. Another pro for black-eyed peas is they don’t require peeling which chickpeas do if you want to maximize their flavor and texture.
I’d read a number of blog posts by professional bloggers that made a case for peeling chickpeas. I was sold on the benefits, but still I wrote peeling chickpeas off as an activity reserved for people for whom blogging is a full-time job.
Pan-fried black-eyed peas health benefits
Don’t let “fried” scare you away from these delicious legumes! It’s not like you’re deep frying them in refined oils of fat. Like most legumes, black-eyed peas are potassium rich, good source of fiber, they improve digestion and help lower blood pressure.
Pan-fried black-eyed peas cooking tips
- Rinse and drain the black-eyed peas fully to get rid of the “tin can” flavor as well as make them
- Sky’s the limit on seasoning. Use your favorite whether its curry, cajun, etc.
- Blot the black-eyed peas dry with paper towels to get rid of any excess moisture which is essential for that good crispiness
Pan-fried black-eyed peas
If you make this super quick pan-fried black-eyed peas recipe please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them. You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.
Dope beats, fresh eats, best life. Enjoy these pan-fried black-eyed peas as a flavorful substitute to your classic soul food slow cooked pot.
Pan-fried Black-eyed Peas
- 1 can black-eyed peas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1/2 small red onion diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Drain and rinse black-eyed peas thoroughly
Heat skillet on low heat. Add garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Add paprika and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Increase heat to medium. Add red onions and red peppers and mix well. Add black-eyed peas and fry for 5 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure all individual peas are touched by the infused oil. Season as needed with salt, pepper, and more paprika. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh basil or parsley.
Note: If using packages of dried black-eyed peas boil in vegetable stock, garlic and onions for twenty minutes. Then dry fully before frying.