Today is National Chinese Take Out Day. Personally, I’d rather have Chinese food in a Chinese Restaurant, preferably one in China Town in San Francisco, than from those cardboard take out containers. Or make it myself. That’s not to say Chinese Take Out is a bad idea. It’s just that by the time you place your order and get it home, the food has lost it’s freshness. Most food is just better going straight from the kitchen to your tummy.
And it’s that fresh, hot from the fryer goodness that you need to experience to truly appreciate Crab Rangoon. So go ahead, order your take out. While you’re waiting, make a delicious American-Chinese appetizer of deep-fried Wonton wrappers filled with cream cheese and crab meat.
Studies show Crab Rangoon is one of the most requested appetizers in American-Chinese restaurants, second only to egg rolls. Nearly all Crab Rangoon is made using imitation crab meat. Mine uses the real deal, but you could substitute imitation crab if you like. Nearly all the dipping sauces are sweet. Mine is more spicy. I like soy sauce with some heat. I like the way the cream cheese plays off the red pepper flakes. But that’s just me.
Crab Rangoon with Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce
Wonton Crab Rangoon
1 Garlic Clove
2 Green Onion
5 oz Crab Meat
4 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Soy Sauce
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
2 cups Vegetable Oil
24 (2-inch) Wonton Wrappers
Peel garlic, then finely mince. Set aside.
Trim root end from a green onion and discard. Thinly slice the entire remaining onions. Divide in half and set aside.
Drain crab meat. Pick over to make sure any shell or cartilage has been removed. Flake meat, place in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the crab meat, cream cheese, garlic, half of the green onion, sesame oil, Worcestershire, soy, salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat.
While the oil heats, assemble the wontons for frying. Place wrappers on a flat work surface. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the wrapper over the filling to create a triangle, pinching the edges to seal.
Working in batches, add filled wontons to the Dutch oven and fry until evenly golden brown and crispy, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Arrange Rangoon on a serving platter. Garnish with remaining green onion.
Crab Rangoon Dipping Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves
2 slices fresh Ginger
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
5 tablespoons Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes or to taste
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold Water
Peel and mince garlic, set aside. Peel a nub of fresh ginger. Slice two thin slices, set aside. Wrap any remaining ginger and store for another use.
Combine rice vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, and then turn heat down and boil 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch into the cold water, whisking until completely dissolved and smooth. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, bring back up to a boil, and boil 30 seconds.
Pour into a dipping bowl and serve surrounded by the Crab Rangoon.