Recipe: Crab Rangoon

My mom’s been craving Chinese food lately, so deciding on tonight’s dinner of beef with broccoli and snow peas was very easy. I’d yet to try out my deep fryer, so I decided this meal would pair up perfectly with fried crab rangoon, those deliciously golden-brown wonton pockets filled with cream cheese, flaky crab meat, and green onion. They’re easy to make, and any excess filling can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Now, it’s important to understand that I used a deep fryer to make these. You can fry foods without a fryer, typically by heating oil in a pot on the stove while carefully monitoring the temperature (I’ve done it before—it’s a little terrifying and you have to be incredibly careful), and you can also do no-fry methods by utilizing some sort of fat (butter, cooking spray, etc.) and an oven. But for this recipe, I’m using a deep fryer, so keep that in mind (maybe one of my Technique Tuesday posts in the future will explain how to fry foods without a fryer…).

Serves: Many
Prep. time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: Approx. 5 minutes (or until golden brown)
Difficulty: Easy
Special equipment: Deep fryer

Ingredients

  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 1, 8 oz. package Philadelphia cream cheese (I used the version with 1/3 less fat)
  • 1-2 cups canned crab meat, drained and flaked/small pieces (I found this chilled at the fresh seafood counter at my local grocery store)
  • Approx. 1/4 cup green onions, finely diced/chopped
  • Approx. 1/4 tsp. grated ginger root
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Small bowl of water (for sealing the wontons)
  • Vegetable oil or other frying-safe oil (canola, safflower, peanut)

Be sure to taste the mixture to see if you have the right balance of ingredients. If you like a crabby wonton, add more crab meat, and if you like to taste more of the cream cheese, then add less crab meat. Add more or less ginger as desired.


Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, crab meat, green onions, ginger, sugar, and salt and pepper, then stir vigorously to combine. Lay out the desired amount (meaning, however many you plan to eat) of wonton wrappers on an ungreased baking sheet. Put a small spoonful of the cream cheese and crab mixture in the middle of each wonton wrapper. Dip your fingers in the water and run them along the edges of the wonton wrappers. Fold over each wrapper from one corner to the other, forming a triangle, and press the edges together to seal. Fry in hot oil until golden brown (I used a Breville deep fryer with vegetable oil, and I fried them at about 330*F). Once done, remove and place on a plate covered in a few layers of paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Plate and serve.

These little Chinese restaurant appetizers fry up golden-brown and bubbly and they’re perfect as a party snack or an appetizer. If you want to make them a little fancier, replace the crab meat with lobster, or change how you fold the wontons to create a different presentation.

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