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Crab Rangoon

November 24, 2009


I used to hate crab.  I think it’s because when I was like seven years old our neighbors had a party and I ate so much crab I got sick.  And I mean violently ill.  After that, I refused to even come close to a crab.

Then, a good six or seven years later, I discovered snow crab legs, which it turned out I liked.  From there I slowly, but surely, turned into a full-fledged crabophile (which may not be a word, but who cares about technicalities?).


The idea for crab rangoon spawned from a mostly-full container of frozen crab in the freezer.  We needed to make some space in the freezer, so I thought it might be a good idea to use up the crab.  Crab rangoon?  Sure, why not

Upon defrosting the frozen crab, it turned out the crab had gone bad.  But I had my heart set on crab rangoon, so we went ahead as planned (using crab from the store instead). I bought one pound of crab and figured I would make a third of the recipe.  The recipe supposedly made 30 rangoon if you made the whole thing, so it follows that a third of the recipe would make 10, right? 


Uh no.

If you make the full recipe you will have enough crab rangoon for, I kid you not, at least 30 people as an appetizer.  Maybe even 40.   Granted, I used one wonton wrapper per rangoon (the less edges to seal, the better), but even if I had used two wrappers I wouldn’t have been able to increase the filling by that much. 


There are at least 20 crab rangoon in the above photo (yes, I counted, and if you are as anal retentive as I am, I invite you to count too), and that’s probably half of the total amount.  We ate crab rangoon until we were blue in the face, and there were still probably 10 left over.  And I didn’t even use all the filling.  I probably could have made 10 or 15 more.

Nate made the dipping sauce while I was frying the rangoon, and the dipping sauce was okay.  Nothing too special.  Then again, we didn’t have any sambal (p.s. what is sambal??), which was probably a crucial ingredient.  Oops.

I guess it makes sense that even if you just make a third of the recipe, you’re still using a pound of crab, which is kind of a lot.  I’d say that a third of this recipe would make a suitable appetizer for a group of 10 people (maybe less if they’re really hungry).  Luckily, the crab rangoon were really good and we were able to stuff our faces without it feeling like a chore.  The left-overs also tasted good crisped up in the oven, which may be handy to know as well.  🙂  


Crab Rangoon

(Adapted from Epicurious)

  • Grapeseed or canola oil for cooking
  • 2 red onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, white part only
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups naturally brewed rice vinegar
  • 3 pounds picked, fresh crab meat (snow, blue)
  • 3/4 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives, 2 tablespoons reserved for garnish
  • 1 package thin square wonton skins, defrosted (at least 60-count)
  • 2 eggs mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • In a sauté pan coated lightly with oil over high heat, sauté onions and lemongrass until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and check for flavor. Deglaze with naturally brewed rice vinegar. Reduce by 75 percent or until liquid is absorbed. Check again for seasoning. (When cool, you can transfer to a container and store in fridge for up to two weeks.)

    In a large bowl, mix crab, cream cheese, onion mixture and chives. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and check for flavor.

    Lay out 4 to 6 skins, lightly brush the edges with egg wash and place a small mound of the mix in the middle (You can also just brush the edges with water.  I used only one “skin” per rangoon, placing the filling in the middle and folding the side over to make a triangle.)  Top with second skin and press firmly to seal. This is very important so the rangoons do not burst and leak. Repeat until filling is gone. Preheat a large sauté pan coated with 1/4-inch of oil over medium-high heat. Add as many rangoons as pan can hold in one layer. Shallow fry until golden brown, flip and fry other side until golden brown. Transfer rangoons to plate lined with paper towels. Arrange on platter and garnish with dollops of cranberry-mixture and reserved chives.

    Dim Sum Dipper

  • 2 tablespoons sambal
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • In a small bowl, combine the sambal, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix and use or store.

    One Comment leave one →
    1. Dad permalink
      November 26, 2009 9:33 pm

      Great looking receipe, Kate! As was the intensely chocolate birthday cake.

      I remember “sambal” from Bali. So I checked it out on Wikipedia, and it’s a condiment common to Indonesia and Malaysia which consists primarily of chiles. I remember order “ketchup” one time in Ubud, and they served “kecap manis,” pronounced like “ketchup.” It’s actually sambal kecap manis, the “manis” meaning sweet. It was really pretty good, and I think we had it with like french fries. We were trying to do a bit of American food that night…

      I thought I remembered something like “sambal malik,” but I can’t find that anywhere. What sounds really good is “sambal mangga,” a sambal base with shredded mango! Off to look at more cool food pictures from the blog…


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