Gallery: Tiki Week: Crab Rangoon

A couple of weeks ago, I asked the folks over on my Facebook Page what their favorite Chinese restaurant appetizer is. I was expecting dumplings, spring rolls, perhaps hot and sour soup. What I got instead was a deluge of crab rangoon, with more than twice as many votes as any other dish.

  • Crab Rangoons

    As Adam put it, they're basically just an excuse to eat deep fried cream cheese.

  • Mix crab and cream cheese

    Crab and cream cheese

    You can use real picked crab meat (don't bother with jumbo lump; regular claw or lump crab meat will work, since it all gets shredded up anyway), but with the strong flavors of cream cheese and scallion, even fake crab will work just fine. Cut it into 1/2-inch pieces.

  • Go small

    Crab in pastry

    Just a small amount in the center of a square wonton wrapper will do. White or yellow wrappers will work equally well.

  • Simple triangles

    triangle pastry

    The easiest shape is a simple folded triangle. Moisten the edges of the wrappers with water, then fold, squeezing out as much air as possible.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • Or make tortellini

    Tortellini

    Fold the triangles in half again to make tortellini-esque shapes

  • Four-cornered stars

    Pastry shaping

    For the experienced, try making the four-point star. Start by pinching opposite corners in half, then bring them together in the center.

  • Seal it

    Four cornered pastry

    Seal the pouches , keeping the top edges of the wonton wrapper unsealed to maximize surface area for crisping.

  • Ready to fry

    Crab ragoon

    At this stage, they can be frozen for long term storage.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • Fry

    Frying crab ragoon

    Fry them in 375°F oil making sure to agitate them constantly as they cook. You want them golden brown and crisp.

  • Blowout

    Crab ragoon

    There's no avoiding it: Some of your rangoons are gonna blow out. Fish them out of the hot oil as soon as you catch the explosion, or it'll get messy crab everywhere.

  • Season and serve

    Season and serve

    Serve the crab rangoons with your choice of dipping sauce.