I am not a food snob. I am as much a fan of American Chinese cuisine as I am of authentic Chinese cuisine. I bear no shame in liking the numerous sweet and sour like concoctions, love the just sweet and a bit savoury dishes and most of all the various wonton crisps all sorts. Hands down, my favourite is crab Rangoon. I love dumplings but this dumpling is one I'm very fond of.
The beginnings of this dish is quite unclear and conflicting. The most persistent rumour is that it was first served in the Tiki style restaurant Trader Vic's in San Francisco. It is apparently named after the city of Rangoon in Burma (now called Yangon). But why? This theory has been questioned because crab Rangoon, apart from the wonton wrapper has all American ingredients. Crab meat, cream cheese, and seasonings fill the wrappers before they are deep fried until crisp. How can that not be nice?
Most recipes for crab rangoon call for crab sticks or as some lovingly call it "fake" crab meat. There is nothing wrong with crab sticks and I in fact always have a stash in my freezer. However, I have a tub of all claw crabmeat from Costco's so that is what I used.
I encourage everyone (yes, everyone) to make crab Rangoon at home. It is easy to make, fail safe and very tasty. Although it is a stand alone just-pop-it-in-your-mouth dish some like dipping it in Oriental sauces like sweet and sour or plum sauce. I, however, like dipping it in pesto. That green taste just wakes up the simple creamy flavour of crab Rangoon. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it does.
Yield: 15 dumplings
1/2 c. cooked flaked crab meat
1/2 cup of cream cheese
1 T. chopped parsley
1 T. chopped chives
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
wonton skins (for deep frying)
Mix all of the above ingredients together, except for the wonton skins. I did not have to add any salt as the mixture is salty enough for me.
There are different kinds of wonton skin. Choose the one for frying for best texture.
Put one level tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. make the four corners meet in the middle and pull out the sides to make a flower shape.
Heat up a deep frying pan or wok and fill with enough oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot put a few pieces of the dumplings, bottom side down. Fry on medium high heat until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a kitchen paper lined dish to drain the oil before transferring to a serving dish.
Let rest before eating. Filling will be hot.
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