Crispy, golden, light little puffs of creamy crab filling…. tell me there’s anything tastier on a Chinese-American restaurant menu! Crab rangoon are not a traditional Chinese dish, but one of the smart and great things we here in ‘Merica have invented. I’m pretty proud of us. I won’t order a combination plate without ‘em.
I served these Krabby puffs with a sweet chili-garlic sauce for dipping, such as this one, but another great option is a savory dipping sauce of soy sauce, a little rice vinegar and sesame oil that you can mix to your taste preference.
It’s wonderful how super easy these puffs are to make at home! Just mix the filling, fill and seal the wontons and fry. If you prefer to bake these, you risk the possibility of the filling errupting and spilling from the puffs during baking… so I’ll leave that up to your discretion (spray the tops with a little oil before baking for crispness!). I used store-bought wonton wrappers (easy!) and imitation Krab meat (inexpensive!) because I don’t like to fuss around when we’re hungry. Grab a filling/wrapping companion (husband/friend/someone with opposable thumbs) and make an entire batch in a flash, then you could either store them in the freezer for a quick appetizer anytime, or eat them all immediately! I won’t tell.
I had the tail-end of a package of round wrappers, so I made some (roughly) pleated crescents, and then some square wrappers became the little envelopes. The Chinese restaurant near our place that I’m quite fond of makes them into these little stars that have a habit of sticking me in the roof of the mouth — not that it stops me — but honestly, they taste deeelicious no matter how they’re shaped, so proceed at your own level of wonton-shaping expertise. (Mine being fair, to low.)
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (recommended) or Worchestershire (a good substitution)
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced or pressed
- 1 12 oz package imitation Krab meat, chopped
- 1 5 oz can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 5 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
- round or square wonton wrappers (available at most supermarkets — look near the refrigerated tofu and noodles)
- oil for deep-frying
In a bowl, mix the first six ingredients. The filling will keep in the fridge for a couple of days if you want to make it ahead and fill wontons later.
On your workspace, spread 6 or so wrappers out in front of you, keeping a damp cloth over the rest of the wrappers while you work to prevent them from drying out. Dollop a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of your square or round wonton. Using a small dish of water, dip your fingers in and lightly brush the edges of each wonton with water (not too much, or they won’t stick). Fold in half (circular wontons) or fold top and bottom corners together (square wontons), pressing edges to seal and making sure to squeeze out as much air from the center as you can. Pleat the round wrappers, or tuck the ends of the folded triangle into each other, moisten tips with water, and press to seal for the envelope shape. Set aside on a lightly floured baking sheet and continue with rest of wontons and filling. Freeze for later or proceed to frying step.
To freeze: transfer baking sheet to freeze in a single layer; when frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or other air-tight container.
To fry: preheat about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a tall-sided pot or skillet to 350 degrees. Drop in 5 or 6 fresh or frozen wontons at a time and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, then enjoy, and be careful biting into these piping-hot little babies…. molten cream cheese ahhhhh! Serve with dipping sauce and get lots of friends to help eat!