Crunchy Pea Salad

July 10, 2015

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.

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Crunchy Pea Salad

Crunchy Pea Salad

  • Author: Ryan’s Grill
  • Total Time: 24 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


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.



For the dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

For the salad

1 (10- to 12-ounce bag) frozen petite peas, thawed

3/4 cup snow peas, strings removed, cut on an angle in 1/4-inch slices

1 can water chestnuts, diced

2 tablespoons red onion, cut in 1/4-inch dice

3 tablespoons bacon bits (or more to taste)


To make the dressing

Blend together mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make the salad

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.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 24 hours
  • Category: salad
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 107.52
  • Sugar: 2.75 g.
  • Sodium: 235.64 mg.
  • Fat: 7.33 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 1.67 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 7.76 g.
  • Fiber: 2.34 g.
  • Protein: 2.98 g.
  • Cholesterol: 7.13 g.

Keywords: peas, petit peas, snow peas, water chestnuts, bacon

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  1. Garrison

    I remeber that salad in Hawaii too and worked on it at home. Could get close but it was a thicker outcome and slightly different taste. Then it struck me to add cream cheese and viola. Less mayo by half and replace half with soft cream cheese. Mix cream cheese mayo and sour cream well first. Taste and add pinch powdered sugar till taste good. Then add other ingredients, add pinches popcorn salt stir and taste repeats till correct. Add pepper, i use white pepper. Option: add minch sweet red pepper if desired with other ingredients amount optional to add flavor and visual flare, do not over power salad. I usually add same amout as bacon bits.

    • Julie

      Wow you did quite a lot of testing with your recipe. The cream cheese would add another level of tang to the dressing. I will have to try it.


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