Black-Eyed Pea Cakes.

November 17, 2015 |  by  |  Think Outside the Lunchbox

[ posted by jen kulp ]

Black-Eyed Peas. You’d be hard pressed to find a southern staple as iconic as this youngin ‘ere.

For years, my mother has made New Years Day lunch and in it is always this “lucky” food. When I was a kid, my sisters and brother and I would chew them up and spit them out down in the bottom of our cups of milk, using the white liquid to cover up the evidence. She eventually got wise to this and we had to actually—ughhh—swallow them.

Then I became an adult and my love for all things legumes began to show.

I still only make them on New Year’s Day, because quite honestly, there are many other types of beans that I generally like SO. MUCH. MORE.

Until I met this little guy last year:

Wide Black-Eyed Pea Cake


So for New Year’s Day lunch, I decided to do something quantum different with my Black Eyed Peas.

I’ve used a myriad of different recipes in the past to make bean-based cakes, but this one is tried and true and I stand behind it.



  • (2) 15oz cans organic 😉 Black-Eyed Peas
  • 1/2 cup Onion
  • 2 slices fried and crumbled Bacon
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 t Dried Basil
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 t Cumin
  • 1/2 t Cayenne (or more or less depending on heat sensitivity)
  • 1 T Yellow Curry Powder
  • 1/2 t Krazy Salt (my personal favorite—I know, I know…) You can sub regular sea salt.
  • 1 Egg (whisked)
  • 1/3 cup Heavy Cream


  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 cup Half & Half
  • 1 cup (or more) Panko Bread Crumbs


First, cook the bacon and set aside. In the same skillet cook a diced small onion (about 1/2 cup worth). Once translucent, add the drained Black Eyed Peas and the spices: Garlic, Dried Basil, Fresh Cilantro, Cumin, Yellow Curry, Cayenne, Ground Black Pepper, Krazy Salt (to taste).

  • Remove from heat.
  • Put 3/4 of the mixture into a Food Processor.
  • In a small bowl, whisk one egg… pour HALF of it into the Processor. Add bacon.
  • Pulse until you get the desired consistency—I prefer it if it’s thoroughly combined with small chunks.
  • Return to the bowl with the remaining 1/4 of the mixture.
  • Stir in 1/3 cup of Heavy Cream.

Chill for ONE HOUR (this applies to the mixture and the chef).

Meanwhile, THE BREADING:

You will need three breading trays, like these stainless steel connecting trays (Amazon ships free if you’re Prime!)

  • In the first one put 1 cup Flour.
  • In the second one whisk 1/3 cup Half & Half and one egg. Sometimes I just set a small bowl in place of the breading tray for this one, as it’s better to have a deeper submersion versus shallow. Just my opinion.
  • In the third one put 1 cup (or more) Panko.

When the mixture is done chilling, I use a small cookie scoop twice per patty—they should be the size of small tennis balls.

  • Form into balls (I can hear my husband laughing while I write this), then begin breading.
  • First dip each ball into flour.
  • Then dip each ball into the egg mixture.
  • Finally, roll each ball in the Panko, being sure to coat evenly all sides. Use this as a time to slightly flatten each ball.


  • PREHEAT 4-8 T Olive Oil (or Canola, whatever you prefer) in a small frying pan.
  • In batches, fry each side 2-3 minutes being careful not to tear them apart in the process.
  • Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
Close up Black-Eyed Pea Cake

Dad or Alive went nuts for these.

Top with any remoulade sauce (I use Paula Deens’s Comeback Sauce recipe), which is my jam–I substitute wing sauce for hot sauce. Add remaining Cilantro to top, if you love it as much as we do!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This recipe has been approved by Dad or Alive, even though she made these the night before we were scheduled to work out together at a new gym. Beans, beans, the magical fruit…