Beyond my affinity for a great hot and sour soup, I have to say… I adore, I mean ADORE crab rangoon. We have lived in a lot of different cities over the years and I’ve had a lot of the various crab rangoon offerings at our local Chinese restaurants and while I’m positive that these little packages of cheesy love are not anything close to something you would find in Asia, I still adore them. I have to say, after having probably too many of them over the years at our local Jade Gardens, Panda Garden, China Spring, Great Wall, Panda Express or whatever… I can say there are some that have been awesome and some that have been total rangoon doggies. Too cheesy, too fishy… you name it.
I decided along with my hot and sour soup night a couple of weeks ago to give it a go. I figured really, what could they possibly have to work with (with the exception of a handy deep fryer!) that I don’t have here? So I searched the internet for various recipes and found that everyone had their rendition of the rangoon. I have to say, while I of all people can appreciate a good addition of spices and herbs, I am fond of the basic, cheesy, somewhat sweet with a touch of green onion in my rangoon. Nothing fancy, nothing overly special.
So here is what I have figured out…
1. Once you make them, cook them. DON’T wait to cook them. Do it immediately! I tried making them ahead of time tonight and it was an EPIC FAIL! Mostly due to the fact that they got too warm ahead of time and pretty much exploded in the hot oil. Considering my first attempt at making them worked out beautifully and I did nothing different this time, except for allowing them to sit in a warmer environment prior to cooking, that is all I can determine that was different from the first time.
Now that being said, I wonder (though I cannot vouch for this hypothesis) as to whether they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated to a cold temp and then cooked off later. Honestly, I think my downfall was the wonton wrappers getting too soft and warm and therefore breaking down upon hitting the hot oil. I know the Chinese restaurants are not making these to order, but as I said… it’s a new recipe. So give it a whirl!
2. Use a thermometer for your oil. Keep it at a consistent 350 and watch it as it will fluctuate a lot as you add and remove the rangoons.
3. Be careful to make sure that your rangoons are well sealed. Otherwise, they will leak and make a huge mess in your pot. Yuck!
So here goes… Like I said, it’s basic and reminds me of the rangoon I’ve had that tasted the best over my years of traveling.
Yield: Approx. 38 Rangoons
2 Blocks of cream cheese room temp
2 cans of crabmeat
4 teaspoons sugar
5 green onions diced
1 egg beaten (in bowl)
Wonton wrappers / One package will do fine
Blend your first four ingredients well, until you end up with a nice fluffy mixture.
Heat 3″ of vegetable oil until it reaches 350 degrees. I use a small saucepan pot. Nothing too large.
Take your wonton wrappers and place about 1 heaping teaspoon of crab mixture in the center. Take your finger and run a small amount of egg on two sides of the wonton wrapper (this is your glue). Fold your wonton over making a triangle shape. Make sure that your edges are well sealed.
Make up about four at a time, or if you have a helper that is nice. That way you can have someone making the rangoon while you cook the rangoon. I cooked only two – three at a time (yes, that few, you don’t want to crowd the pan) and flipped them when they got nice and golden brown. It really does not take a long time to cook them but overall, yes… it’s time consuming to make a bunch. Again, make sure your oil stays at a consistent temp or you’ll end up with a messy vat o’ oil! The bigger issue comes with keeping everyone out of the rangoon as they are finished. The good part is the oil is so incredibly hot that they will burn they freaking mouths off if they eat them before they cool down! : )
Of course you’ll want to cool them on some toweling to absorb some of the oil.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, duck, hot and spicy mustard, chili dipping sauce or whatever strikes you.
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