Split Pea Crab Rangoon with Sticky Ginger-Garlic Dipping Sauce

Split Pea Crab Rangoons with Sticky Ginger-Garlic Dipping Sauce
Recipe by Christina Provo

Makes 30-45 rangoons

Split pea ingredients ~

1/4 cup dried split green peas
1 1/4 cup water

Crab filling ingredients ~

6 oz neufchatel cheese, room temperature
6 oz can crab meat, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2-1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tsp coarse salt
pinch white pepper

For rangoon assembly ~

1 egg white
30-45 wonton wrappers

Dipping sauce ingredients ~

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed

For frying ~

1 quart vegetable (4 cups)

Directions ~
  1. Rinse split peas and place in a small pot. Add water, and bring to just a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a constant simmer and cover partially with a lid. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until tender. If water hasn't completely evaporated, drain. Smash into a smooth paste. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, mix together cream cheese, drained crab meat, green onions, and garlic until blended. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Blend in cooled split pea paste; cover and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  3. Have a baking sheet ready nearby to place formed wontons. Onto the center edges on all four sides, dab lightly with egg white (this will help the wrapper stick to itself, sealing in the filling). Dollop 1 1/2-2 teaspoons split pea and crab filling onto center of wrapper. Fold sides to create a blossom, or fold diagonally and press to adhere. Place on baking sheet and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap or a slightly damp cotton towel (this keeps the wrappers from drying out -- you don't want the towel to be wet enough to made the wrappers soggy). Repeat process until filling is used up. Place baking sheet in fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

  4. In a deep pot or a wok, heat oil until it registers 350 degrees.

  5. While wontons are chilling and oil is heating, place vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once sauce reaches a boil, lower to medium heat (still maintaining a rolling boil, but mixture shouldn't come close to boiling over) and continue to cook for 15 minutes to reduce sauce. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

  6. Remove baking sheet from fridge. Place a cooling wrack on a different baking sheet and line with paper towels; position near pot of oil.

  7. Once oil registers 350 degrees, carefully drop in 3 rangoons at a time. Fry for 40-50 seconds, or until edges are golden brown and the rangoons lose their raw look. The overall tone will be a light-medium golden brown except for the edges. Remove using a slotted spoon and place on prepared baking sheet. (I placed the rangoons on their sides, held up in a line by another rangoon, to keep the bottoms from getting soggy.) Repeat with remaining rangoons, cooking just 3 at a time. Pay attention to how the rangoons fry, and adjust heat accordingly if they're browning too fast or too slow.

Serve with dipping sauce.