I am the sweet tooth fairy. Cookies, cake, candy, ice cream. If it has copious amounts of sugar and a happy dose of carbs, I want it in my mouth. On the flip side, I can easily pass on fried, salty food. Chips, fries, pizza? Not really my thing. Which is why my sudden obsession with crunchy deep fried wasabi peas is . . . alarming.
I first bought these guys because they were in an organic food store and sounded somewhat healthy. A bit of spice, some vegetables. Seemingly harmless. Come to find out, there are approximately 3,540,508 calories in each pea. Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating. But you definitely don’t want to accidentally eat a whole can of these guys, or your gut will regret it. Bad, but SO good. Crunchy, spicy, and very satisfying if you just need a quick munch. Which is why I’ve invented a healthy version. Just as spicy, just as crunchy, but also just a bit healthier. And super easy to make! To get started you will need olive oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, wasabi paste, salt, chickpeas, and onion powder. Set your oven to 400°F and you’re ready to get-a-cookin’!
This recipe doesn’t work with any kind of pea. I tried it first with regular green peas and they got super sad and melty when put in the oven. So go for chickpeas, unless you want green wasabi mush! Drain your chickpeas and rinse them off.Pat them dry with a tea towel. Line a baking tray with some wax paper and spread your chickpeas out flat.
Drizzle them with olive oil, until you’re convinced that every chick is coated.They don’t have to be swimming in oil, but they should all be shiny and wet. Sprinkle them all over with salt.
And now they’re ready for the oven! Arrange a rack in the middle and pop them in to cook. While the chicks are in the oven, it’s time to mix your wasabi sauce. If you put it on in the beginning, the spicy flavor will burn off in the heat. So wait until the end, if you love that hot wasabi taste! In a small bowl, mix about 3 tbsp of wasabi paste, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, 1 tbsp of vinegar, a big pinch of onion powder, and a bit more salt for good luck. After about 30 minutes, take your chickpeas out of the oven and douse them with the wasabi sauce. Give them a good toss and make sure they are all coated.
Throw them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until they’re golden and crispy. I kept mine in a bit longer, as I wanted them extra crunchy! Take them out of the oven and scoop them into a small bowl. Sprinkle on a bit more onion powder and add another tbsp of wasabi paste. Mix it around until it has melted away and wait for the chickpeas to cool.Once they’ve cooled, you will have an amazing, crunchy, spicy, crispy snack!! Healthy, satisfying, and a tenth of the calories as their deep fried friends.
I actually popped these guys back into my (blush) empty store-bought wasabi pea can, and stored them in the fridge. I’ve been snaking on them when I need a little nosh – they’re also an awesome addition to a salad when you want a bit of extra crunch.