Hoppin’ John is a traditional dish eaten in the Southern U.S. on New Year’s Day and throughout the year as a good luck charm for prosperity, but it can also refer to any number of rice and bean dishes cooked in similar ways.
It usually consists of black-eyed peas (sometimes with bacon) and rice, and may contain various ingredients such as onion, smoked or fresh ham, collard greens or other leafy greens, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, and parsley. Each item of this delicious dish symbolizes what is to come in the new year . . .
Hoppin’ John New Year Symbolization
- The Black Eyed Peas are for good luck, as they represent coins.
- Cooked Greens (Cabbage or Collards) are also good luck as they represent folded money
- Eating Pork is Good Luck on New Years because it’s a time to look forward, not backward (and pigs are incapable of turning their heads back to look behind them) Also, pigs represent prosperity, therefore, the fatter the pig, the fatter your wallet in the coming year.
- Cornbread– which is often served with hoppin’ john represents gold/wealth.
- Sliced or stewed tomatoes, consumed for health in the coming year
Traditional New Years Day Hoppin’ John
1 cup cooked ham or cooked hog jowl-chopped (or bacon)
1 cup onion-chopped
2 garlic cloves-minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil or bacon/hog jowl drippings-divided
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 can black-eyed peas-rinsed and drained
salt and pepper – to taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups cooked shredded collard greens
1. In a large skillet, cook ham/hog jowl, onion, and garlic in 1 tbsp oil or drippings until lightly browned.
2. Stir in rice, peas, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated. Remove from skillet.
3. Add remaining oil or drippings into the skillet. Add cabbage; saute until crisp-tender.
4. Add rice and saute 2-3 more minutes.
5. Add pea mixture back to the skillet and heat through.
6. Transfer to a large serving platter and enjoy.
*Instead of heating everything together in a skillet, you can heat it separately and layer on the plate.
More New Years Superstitions
Also, tradition says that you should NEVER do anything on New Years Day that you wouldn’t want to do ALL YEAR long because you set the pace for your New Year with what you do on New Year! aka, unless you want to spend all year doing laundry and housework, DONT do it on New years, lol!
Hoppin' John New Year
- 1 cup cooked ham or cooked hog jowl-chopped or bacon
- 1 cup onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or bacon/hog jowl drippings-divided
- 3 cups rice cooked & hot
- 15 oz black-eyed peas 1 can rinsed and drained
- salt and pepper - to taste
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper - or more to taste preference
- 4 cups cooked shredded collard greens
- In a large skillet, cook ham/hog jowl, onion, and garlic in 1 tbsp oil or drippings until lightly browned.
- Stir in rice, peas, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated. Remove from skillet.
- Add remaining oil or drippings into the skillet. Add cabbage; saute until crisp-tender.
- Add rice and saute 2-3 more minutes.
- Add pea mixture back to the skillet and heat through.
- Transfer to a large serving platter and enjoy.
If you altered the ingedients above by doubling or tripling the recipe, you may also need to change the pan/dish size and adjust the cooking/baking time.
1 thought on “Hoppin’ John New Year”
yum 😉 our favorite way to eat kale. beans & greens with bacon… the best!