Hoppin’ John Fritters

Felicia Suzanne Willett

Felicia Suzanne's - Memphis

Enjoy this classic fritter with rémoulade or chowchow.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, warmed
  • 1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup cooked and diced Tasso ham
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
  • 2 cups vegetable oil


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the rice and cook until the grains are transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add 1/2 cup warm stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Continue adding stock in 1/2-cup additions until the rice is al dente. Remove from the heat. (You should have about 1 cup of risotto.)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the risotto, black-eyed peas, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, green onions, and ham. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.  

Place the flour, egg wash, and bread crumbs in separate, shallow bowls and season with salt and pepper. Take a heaping teaspoon of the rice mixture and form it into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Dredge the balls in the flour, coating them completely. Dip each ball in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs, coating them completely.

Heat an inch of oil in a large frying pan. Working in batches, add the fritters to the pan and lightly press down on them to make flattened cakes. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fritters to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or paper towels. Keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Serve the fritters with rémoulade or chowchow.


6 to 8 servings