I hate cream cheese.
There, I said it. But before you get your social media pitch forks out, let me qualify my first statement.
Like all other cheeses, I cannot eat it uncooked. Why? Not sure. Maybe it is a chemical change in taste and texture after cooking. Even then, I find an excess of cream cheese in certain recipes overwhelming.
I’m looking at you, crab rangoon.
So you’re probably wondering why I advertised a recipe for crab rangoon when I hate cream cheese. It’s because most restaurants use way too much to compensate for the cost of more expensive ingredients. (Which is ridiculous since it’s almost always fake crab.)
So you see, I can’t just go grab some crab rangoon from my nearest Chinese diner. The best I’ve had comes from PF Chang’s and its fast casual Pei Wei, but I can’t stop for it all the time and I’m not exactly made of money. And now that I no longer live in Indiana, where my favorite crab rangoon maker, Margie, lives, I figured it was time to learn how to make my own.
I used what I remember from Margie’s version for inspiration and put my own spin on it.
Prep time: 30 minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes. Makes: About 50 crab rangoon
1 package (50 pieces) square wonton wrappers
1/2 package (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 packages (12 ounces) imitation crab meat
1/2 package (4 ounces) Philly cream cheese
1 bunch of green onions
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups peanut or canola oil
Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator to soften.
Heat your oil in a deep fryer, cast iron pan or Dutch oven to 325 degrees.
The easiest way to make this is by combining all ingredients but the wonton wrappers in a food processor and pulsing until mixed. But, if you don’t have one big enough or want to make sure each ingredient is chopped to a certain size, you can do the crab and green onion separately then mix together with the rest of the ingredients, which is what I did.
Spoon about a teaspoon of the mix into the center of the wonton wrapper. Wet the inside perimeter of the wrapper with a dab of water on your finger then fold the sides together to form a triangle shape. Seal by pressing the two together tightly.
When the oil reaches temp, carefully lower the wontons into the fryer. Cook for about three minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown.
Remove and place on a plate covered in paper towels to remove the excess oil.