Crunchy Pea Salad

It's been awhile since I lived in Hawaii but there are still some things that I remember after all these years. One of them is a pea salad from Ryan's Grill, a long-since closed restaurant in Honolulu. We often went there for lunch and I got a salad sampler plate. I don't remember the other salads on the plate but I do remember the pea salad.

The beauty of the Internet is I can often find the recipes I'm looking for. In this case, the recipe was vetted by a local Hawaii newspaper columnist from a series of submitted recipes. I don't know how close it is to the restaurant's recipe but it satisfied all of my nostalgic cravings.

I love the sweetness of the petite peas combined with the crunch of the snow peas and water chestnuts and the saltiness of the bacon. I played a bit with the amount of the ingredients and I prefer a tad less dressing than the recipe calls for. And following the notes on the recipe, I bought bacon bits (Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon) instead of cooking my own bacon. Seemed to work just fine.

One last note, white pepper makes a difference. Black pepper would be okay but white pepper gives it the right flavor.

salad, peas, petit peas, snow peas, water chestnuts
Yield: 8-10 servings
Crunchy Pea Salad

Crunchy Pea Salad

This recipe is modified from one published in the Honolulu Advertiser on July 30, 2008. It's reminiscent of a salad served at a long-since-gone Honolulu restaurant, Ryan's Grill.
Prep time: 20 MinInactive time: 24 HourTotal time: 24 H & 20 M


For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
For the salad:
  • 1 (10- to 12-ounce bag) frozen petite peas, thawed
  • ¾ cup snow peas, strings removed, cut on an angle in ¼-inch slices
  • 1 can water chestnuts, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, cut in ¼-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons bacon bits (or more to taste)


To make the dressing:
  1. Blend together mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make the salad:
  1. Combine peas, snow peas, water chestnuts, red onion, and bacon in a bowl. Add dressing and mix until ingredients are well coated. (I would recommend adding about ¾ of the dressing and adding more until you have desired coverage.)
  2. Transfer to a flat container. Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Stir to redistribute dressing.
  3. Serve within two days.
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