Easy Home Made British Mushy Peas Recipe

Traditional English Mushy Peas
The Spruce
Ratings (112)
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Soaking Time: 12 hrs
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
15 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 15
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 630mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 5mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Love them or hate them there is no denying that t traditional mushy peas are an intrinsic part of British food favorite, fish and chips or with hot pies. There are many impostors out there using frozen and even fresh peas; none comes even close to the real thing.

And just what is that real thing?

Real traditional mushy peas are made using dried marrowfat peas that require and overnight soaking, and a long slow cooking. The result. Exactly as the name implies, mushed-up peas. Bicarbonate of soda is added to the peas while cooking and it this which causes the peas to explode and create the required mush. For some, it is this texture which is disliked, but fans will tell you, the soft, melting texture of the peas is lovely when eaten with freshly cooked hot chips, or a pie fresh from the oven. And if you are eating your mushy peas with a pie, then try a drizzle of mint sauce on top, delicious.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces/225 grams dried marrowfat peas (available in all British supermarkets)
  • 2 tablespoon baking soda
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Sugar (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the peas in a large bowl or stock pot, the peas will swell and so need plenty of room to expand. Add the baking soda and cover with 1/2 pint boiling water and stir to make sure the baking soda has dissolved.

    Peas in water.
     The Spruce
  3. Add the peas and leave to soak overnight, or for a minimum of 12 hours.

  4. Drain the peas in a colander, then place in a large saucepan.

    Peas after soaking.
     The Spruce
  5. Cover again with cold water and bring to the boil.

    Peas in water for boiling.
     The Spruce
  6. Lower the heat and simmer for approximately 30 mins or until the peas have softened and turned mushy.

    Simmering mushy peas.
     The Spruce
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Seasoned mushy peas.
     The Spruce
  8. Serve hot with fish and chips or a tasty meat pie.

    Traditional mushy peas.
     The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!

Notes on Mushy Peas:

It is also the bicarb used in the cooking that gives the peas a bad name, causing an undue amount of wind in some people and can create a slightly bitter taste when overused. To combat this, sugar is added making them over sweet. However, get all of these ingredients in the correct balance, and you will discover, mushy peas are delicious and I for one, would never think about eating fish and chips without them.

Cooked mushy peas keep well for a few days in a refrigerator and also freeze well, so make a large batch and freeze in portion sizes.

Do not confuse mushy peas with pea puree as a Pea Purée recipe is made with fresh or frozen garden peas and fresh mint leaves ( a lovely combination).  The peas are cooked quickly and then mashed unlike mushy peas, which as you can see in the recipe above, the peas are long slow cooked.

Pea Purée is a delicious side dish to serve with almost all meat and fish dishes (not fish and chips though, it simply does not work in the same way as mushy) and always lovely with oily fish such as the Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes.