Typically speaking, extra crabbiness is not a good thing. When it comes to crab rangoon, though, I think it is. I like the crab rangoon you can get at chinese restaurants but I think that it’s even better when there is less cream cheese and more crab meat. This means you’ll have a little extra cream cheese left if you’re using an 8oz package. Or you can go the traditional route and just use all of it. I’ll try not to be too offended.
I also included a recipe for sweet & sour sauce, but the store bought kind works fine too. Check out this post if you want to get real crazy and make your own wonton wrappers. If you do decide to make your own wrappers I’d recommend making them in advance simply because the whole process becomes a bit time consuming if you try and do it all at once, and you know how I feel about that.
While I’m folding the wonton wrappers, I keep a small bowl of water near by, and then I just dip my fingertips in the bowl to wet the edges of the wrapper as I’m working, this helps seal it shut. A more traditional method would be to make an egg wash with one egg and 2 tbs water, then use a pastry brush to brush it over the edges of your wantons.
Important Note: As with all things deep fried, making crab rangoon can be dangerous. There are lots of different methods for folding the wontons, but no matter what you do, try to leave as little air in the wonton pocket as possible and try to be sure to seal them well. If they open when frying, the water from the crab mix interacts with the hot oil and makes the oil pop like crazy. This will probably happen to a few of the rangoon no matter how careful you are so just be careful and don’t linger over the pot too much. If one breaks open while cooking, you will be able to hear it popping. Just let it finish popping, it will only last about 20 seconds. Even if this means that some of rangoon lose their filling, its better that than you getting hot oil burns from trying to rescue them. Another option is to use oven mitts, but it can be a bit clumsy.
If you aren’t planning on feeding a bunch of people, you can freeze the leftover crab rangoon. Some people suggest freezing them before frying, then deep frying the frozen rangoon, but that sounds scary to me. As far as I know, hot oil and frozen stuff does not mix well, but I have never tried it before. I think that cooking then freezing and heating the cooked rangoon up in the oven sounds a lot safer. The next time that I make them I will try both methods and report back!
Extra Crabby Rangoon with Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 6oz crab meat (about half a cup)
- 6oz cream cheese (room temp)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (only for canned crabmeat)
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- salt to taste
- 20 wonton wrappers
- vegetable oil for frying
sweet & sour sauce
- 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2/3 cups pineapple juice (if you dont have pineapple juice, up brownsugar to 1 cup and add 2/3 cup water)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce
|1.||If you're using canned crab meat, drain it well and add lemon juice. Stir and let sit a few minutes. If you have fresh meat - skip this step.|
|2.||Mix all filling ingredients (everything except wrappers and oil) well. PIpe or spoon about 2 tsp of filling onto each wrapper. Fold wrappers. During this process, pour about an inch of oil into a stock pot for frying. Heat over medium to medium high heat, but don't let it get too hot. Ideal temp is about 360°.|
|3.||Add 3 wontons to the pot at a time. Allow them to fry until golden brown then remove with tongs and drain on a paper towel lined plate.|
|4.||While you are waiting for batches of wontons to fry, mix ingredients for sweet & sour sauce. Add to saucepan and bring to simmer and simmer about 3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.|