I have a love/hate relationship with Crab Rangoon.
Crab Rangoon was one of the first Asian dishes I ever tried when I was a kid and I fell in love with them. They’re crispy, a little bit chewy, and then there’s the contrast of the crispy to the sweetness of the crab and the gooey cream cheese. Mmmm. So many great descriptors to use for Crab Rangoon.
That’s the love part.
The hate part of my love affair with Crab Rangoon came about because I once had a chef who had me make like a thousand of them and, well, spending an entire shift stuffing Crab Rangoon is not fun.
For this dish, we did use imitation crab meat. A lot of times, I like to stay away from imitation crab because most of it is cheap and doesn’t actually taste much like crab at all. But we were just making these to satisfy a quick craving and thought we’d try our luck and we actually found some imitation crab that was pretty nice. If you’re going to buy imitation crab, look for meat that doesn’t feel too tight in the package and doesn’t look super pink or spongy (all of those are signs of a poor-quality imitation crab).
We also stumbled across Frank’s Sweet Chili Sauce and since I enjoy their Red Hot Sauce, we decided to give it a try. I was skeptical at first, but it was right on – I’ve used restaurant quality sweet chili sauces in the past and this was just as good if not better than those. Very nice balance of sweet and spicy that went perfectly with these Rangoons.
1/8 tsp ginger
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp granulated garlic
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp sea salt
1 8oz block neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1 lb crab meat (real or imitation)
1 package wonton wrappers
2 cups grapeseed oil
1 cup coconut oil
First, combine all of your spices in a small bowl and then, in a larger bowl, add your spice mix to the softened cream cheese and crab meat.
Lay out your wonton wrappers and place about a tablespoon’s worth of your filling in the center of each wonton.
Wet the edges and then wrap as you please: you can do a traditional triangle fold, pinch the corners together into a pouch, or fold the extra triangle edges in a small purse. We found we liked the smaller purses best because you get a bite of cream cheese with each bite of wonton.
To fry, combine your grapeseed and coconut oils in a saucepan (you want a medium, deep saucepan so that you can submerge the wontons completely in the oil) and bring to about 350 degrees. Drop your wontons in, fry until golden brown, and then dry on a paper towel.