MUSHY PEAS (for six)

In Great Britain mushy peas, the traditional accompaniment to fish and chips, are made with marrowfat peas, large, mature green peas that are allowed to dry out in the field, not harvested while young like garden peas.  Marrowfat peas also are used to make the popular Japanese snack wasabi peas.  They are difficult to find in the United States, so the recipe below substitutes split green peas.

2 cups dried split green peas

1 tablespoon baking soda


2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1.  Put the split green peas in a large pot with the baking soda and enough water to cover the peas four times over.  Cover and allow to rehydrate in the fridge overnight.

2.  Drain the peas in a colander and rinse with cold water to remove any lingering baking soda.

3.  Return the peas to the pan and cover with cold water by ½ inch.  Add the salt, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  During the simmering, skim and discard any pea foam that rises using a slotted spoon.  The peas are done cooking once they just lose their bite (30 to 40 minutes).  Overcooking results in soup which isn’t what we’re going for.

4.  Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir to fully incorporate.  Taste and add more salt if required.

5.  Serve immediately with fish and chips or cool and store for up to 3 days.

from the Grant MacNaughton, Mac’s Fish and Chip Shop, published on the Food Network

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