Mushy Peas

Fish and chips demand a side of mushy peas to be TRULY authentic!



Prep time:

10 minutes

Total Time:

13 hours (overnight)

Good For:



About this Recipe

Americans are more accustomed to split peas in our recipes, but dried marrowfat peas, which are allowed to dry in the fields, give pea soup and mushy peas a flavor that other dried peas cannot imitate.

Mushy peas are a staple in the British Isles, and the typical side for fish and chips. Preparation is simple but does require overnight soaking, so plan ahead!


  • 9 ounces dried marrowfat peas (no substitutions)                
  • Boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Add baking soda to boiling water and let dissolve.  Pour water over a bowl with the marrowfat peas, making sure they’re covered by 3 inches of water.  Stir and leave them to soak for at least 12 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse the peas and place them in a pot with about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, until the desired consistency is reached. Once the peas are mushy, add the salt.
  3. If the peas are too watery, simmer with the lid off until it thickens. If the peas are too thick, add some water. Taste again and add more salt if needed. They will continue to thicken as they cool.

From the Books

Mushy peas, as the assumed side dish of fish and chips, would have been enjoyed by many of my characters who live in or visit coastal regions…and quite possibly all of them who live in England, regardless. But I won’t link to everything. 😉

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