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Island Style Peas n Rice

peas n rice with scallions

During the summer months in Bermuda island style peas n rice is often served. I personally like it best aside of coleslaw. The coleslaw adds a nice sweet crunch with a bit of sauce to the otherwise dry peas n rice. The traditional Caribbean style peas n rice is made using coconut water and black eye peas. Since I’m not a fan of coconut water this simple recipe doesn’t call for it. However, feel free to add when making this dish.

When I first introduced Caribbean style peas n rice to my family it wasn’t really a hit. Only after altering the recipe it became acceptable to serve in my house. Instead of using coconut water, my recipe calls for chicken stock. Try mixing both chicken and beef stock together for even more flavor.

One overlooked benefit of this dish is the amount of potassium that black eye peas provide. Black eye peas are loaded with fiber, full of protein and a good source of iron. As a result, they assist with weight loss efforts, lower cholesterol levels in our bodies and are naturally good for our hearts! That’s quite a bit of goodness packed into these tiny little peas.

Use black eye peas in island style peas n rice

Black eye peas have a strong savory flavor. The peas have a light beige exterior color and an obvious black spot in the center that resembles a black eye. Caribbean and Indian culture use black eye peas as a staple therefore it if found often in our dishes.

When making this dish you can use either canned version or the fresh. I prefer the fresh, although canned is more convenient. If you choose to use the fresh peas, the rule of thumb is to soak for at least 6 hours before using. You can not afford to miss this step. This may be why people tend to gravitate toward the canned version as they are ready to use out the can.

Alternatively, you can use red kidney beans for this dish. Again, you can use either the canned version or the fresh kidney beans that must be soaked.

Bonus: For an explosive crunch add chopped scallions on top!


  • 1 ½ cups of long grain rice
  • 3 cups of chicken broth (or coconut water)
  • 2 tbsp. of bacon grease
  • 1 cup of soaked black eye peas
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • ground black pepper


  1. Soak black eye peas over night or for at least 6 hours in water
  2. In a pot, add chopped onions, 1 ½ cups of broth, bacon grease, black pepper and sauté until peas are tender. This could take up to one hour.
  3. Next, add the rice, balance of chicken broth to pot and fresh thyme sprigs
  4. Cover pot and reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is gone.
  5. When fully cooked, stir and serve.

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