Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Crab Rangoon

Forget about any crab rangoon you've had in any Chinese restaurant anywhere. In case you've already forgotten, crab rangoon are crunchy little appetizers, filled with creamy crab. Or sometimes not. But they are supposed to be.

I learned how to make these in college, from my then-bff Spanish Tracy. (we took every Spanish class there was together. We studied together all the time. We did some other things that I won't ever admit to. It was college. She calls me Spanish Min too.) Anyway, these are better than any you've had. Trust me. They are also quite easy.

You'll need some won ton wrappers. If I can get them where I live, in the actual middle of nowhere, you can surely get them where you live. You'll find them in a refrigerated section, possibly even with the vegetables. Grocery stores are funny. I have also used egg roll wrappers, just cut in four pieces to approximate the size of won tons. It's the same stuff.

Bring an 8-oz. brick of cream cheese to room temperature in a medium bowl. While you're waiting for that to happen, finely chop some green onions (maybe half a bunch?) and drain and rinse and drain again a can of crab meat. I don't know exactly what kind of crab meat you should get, but it comes in a can, a bit bigger than a can of tuna. Perhaps go for the middle of the road priced can, or use what you like.

Mix the crab and onions in with the cream cheese, and mix them well.

Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, probably over medium-high heat. If you have a Fry Daddy or something like that, now would be the time to pull it out and plug it in.

Now comes the fun part: Assembly. First put some water in a small bowl. Place about a teaspoon or so of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of a won ton wrapper. With your finger, lightly wet two edges of the won ton wrapper. The won ton wrappers are square, so you would wet the two edges of the wrapper that face you, meeting at a point. You are going to turn your squares into filled triangles. If that makes sense.

Fold the dry edges of the wrapper over onto the wet edges to form a triangle. You want to press down lightly to remove extra air, but not to compress the filling. Smooth the edges together to seal them. This step is crucial to prevent them from bursting and leaking out.

So, as you are filling won tons, you will be frying them as well. You can make several and then fry several, but you don't want to make them all and then fry them all, because you don't want them to start to dry out. Put a couple filled won tons into the oil. If they don't quickly start to sound like they're frying? Your oil is not yet hot enough. If there is lots of noise and spattering and even smoking? Your oil is too hot. Be careful, I never said this wasn't treacherous.

Fry evenly, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, and remove to a plate covered with paper towels to drain.

Eat them while they are still warm. We like to serve them with sweet and sour sauce. You won't be able to make them fast enough-if you are serving several people, you won't have to worry about them getting cold.

This recipe makes a lot of rangoons, so you probably won't run out before everyone has had enough. And, if you happen to have any leftover, the crab cream cheese is excellent on toasted bagels.


reddquilter said...

We love these!
I haven't made these in a very long time you've inspired me again, thanks for the idea!

Kris said...

Oh these are one of my faves! Yummy!

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