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 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 the flavor white pepper gives it the right flavor.

Crunchy Pea Salad

modified from the Honolulu Advertiser

¼ cup mayonnaise (I use light mayonnaise which is a little sweeter)
¼ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
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)

Blend together mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper to make dressing.

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.)

Transfer to a flat container. Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Stir to redistribute dressing.

Serve within two days.

Makes 8-10 servings.