Shelling Cowpeas

Hey guys,

CSA member, Adelle Frank, has asked for tips on shelling cowpeas. I haven’t shelled peas since I was a little girl, and the only reason I did was because my grandma wanted the company and the extra hands to help shell. Shelling peas takes time and I’m not sure there is a fast way to go about it.

Here are my tips, which are the same tips Grandma gave me back in the day:

The cowpea has two seams: one is darker than the other.

Find the darker seam and on that side of the pod crack the tip of the cowpea open. This will start to unzip the pod, and if you’re lucky you can actually pull a string from the seam that will unzip the pod all the way down.

If not take your  fingers and open up the pod along the seam, which at this point will open easily. Then run your finger along the inside of the pod to loosen up the peas inside.

This method of shelling does take some time, however for shelling peas I do find it to be pretty fast. (Are there other ways to shell peas?)

Along with the photographs, here’s a video I made to illustrate how I shell peas:

Also, Clotilde Dusoulier, author of blog Chocolate & Zucchini, wrote a great blog post on shelling peas. Her method is similar to mine, except she’s better at explaining it than I am. Here’s a link: On Fresh Peas, and How to Shell Them.

I hope this helps! Please, make sure to leave a comment with any tips you might have.

Also, thanks to Susan for sharing this recipe for: Grilled Eggplant. She mentioned that if you don’t have goat cheese substitute it out for sour cream. Sounds mouthwateringly good!

Side note: Be sure to check out Adelle’s blog here: Adelle Frank.  🙂

Thanks guys!

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3 responses to “Shelling Cowpeas

  1. This is VERY helpful. Thanks, y’all!!

  2. A few more cowpea tips:

    Don’t put them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, as this can hold in the moisture and sometimes cause the peas to go bad.
    If you leave them out (on the counter or wherever), they dry out a bit and can be easier to shell.

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