This recipe was a series of fairly lucky guesses. (intuition?)
I have always liked black-eyed peas (many don’t) and I wanted to try a Vietnamese spin on it. Amazingly enough, the black-eyed pea has it’s origins in Africa and Asia and only really took root in the good ‘ole USA during the 17th century. Interesting.
My first attempt at this dish was to pair it up with a South East Asian omelet. These omelets generally have fish sauce and some sort of sort of veggie in them like scallions, sprouts or a local vine leaf. I made mine with some shrimp paste (very Vietnamese) and fresh dill in it. Even though I put a small scoop of slow-cooked black-eyed peas with it, the peas overwhelmed the dish.
I needed to find a way to dial the pea taste back but still present them in all their glory. The very next week I decided to try again. I put some fish sauce in the water that I slow-cooked the peas with. It had an interesting taste. This was sorta what I was after, however, looking at the peas they seemed pretty boring to look at. I wanted something that might bring the same taste but more diversity in the presentation.
I choose squid since it was one of the few things in the fridge. Pretty lucky really. I also had the ink from the squid saved in a little packet. Some places esp. in China Town, NYC will have this for you. Many places will not. I took the fully cooked beans in a little fish sauce and stir-fried them with the squid and ink. I added a little rice vinegar to reduce the PH and give it a little zing, tang, zip.
That’s it! Now I could serve it with the omelet but it also can stand on it’s own now or to be served along side of a large meal gathering.