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Course: Appetizers
Keyword: Appetizers, Curried Crab-Mango Pocket Pies and Hot Sauce, Fried, Seafood

Curried Crab-Mango Pocket Pies and Hot Sauce

ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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Hot Sauce

  • 20 serrano chiles, stemmed and cut crosswise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced white onions
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and diced small
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 10 ounces claw or backfin crab meat, picked for shells (don't go for the expensive jumbo lump here)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Canola oil, for frying

Specialized Hardware

Food processor
Dutch oven
Candy/fry thermometer
ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


  • For the hot sauce: Combine the peppers, garlic, onions, salt, and oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are very soft and almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. (Note: this should be done in a very well-ventilated area.) Remove from the heat and allow to steep until mixture comes to room temperature. In a food processor, puree the mixture for 15 seconds, or until smooth. With the food processor running, add the vinegar through the feed tube in a steady stream. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. Strain and set aside.
  • For the filling: Heat the oil in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the red onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring until the onion is soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Season with the salt, pepper, and curry powder, and cook, about 1 minute more. Add the mango and cook to just soften slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cook, 2 minutes more.
  • Deglaze the pan with the lime juice and cider vinegar. Cook until the liquid is almost completely gone, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer the mango mixture to a bowl to cool while you make the pastry.
  • For the pastry: Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. (If you don't have a sifter, give the powders a quick spin in your food processor to evenly combine and aerate.)
  • Rub the shortening pieces into the flour, using fingertips only, until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the milk all at once and mix with a rubber spatula until the dough just comes together.
  • Lightly flour your hands and countertop then dump the dough out onto it. Knead the dough ball, folding over 20 times, then divide into 6 equal pieces (86-87 grams each). Roll the pieces into tight balls and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Line one half-sheet pan with parchment paper and the other with a few layers of paper towels, topped with a cooling rack.
  • Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl and have standing by.
  • Lightly dust the countertop with flour and roll one of the dough balls with a rolling pin into a 7-inch diameter circle. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the filling onto the center of the circle and brush the edges with the egg wash. Fold the circle in half, dip a fork into some of the flour then crimp the edges to seal. Then use the fork to lightly pierce the top of the pie a few times to allow expanding air a way out during cooking. Set the pie on the parchment lined pan and repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
  • When all the pies are built, fill a 6-7-quart heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven with 2 inches of oil (about 2 1/2 quarts). Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring the oil temp to 375 ℉.
  • Carefully move the pies, two at a time, to the oil, laying them in away from you to avoid oil splatters. (I find fingers are best for this, but you can use the spider or slotted spoon, especially if you briefly chill the pies first to inhibit stickage). Fry for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally with a spider or slotted spoon until golden brown.
  • Remove the pies to the paper towel-lined sheet pan and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat the process with the remaining pies. Cool for 10-15 minutes before consuming.
  • Pies can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat, place the pies in a cold cast iron skillet over low heat. Cover with a lid and warm through for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. This is the best way to maintain a crisp exterior.
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