July 4th

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chinese take out...from your kitchen!!

Crab Rangoon...its on every Chinese buffet from here to Kalamazoo. We all love them. Even though they rarely contain more than a tiny flake of crab meat (usually imitation crab at that)! These deep fried cheese bites are usually served with a side of unnaturally red sauce labeled sweet and sour. Admit it...you love them too.

I decided to make my own crab rangoon and sweet and sour sauce. They were much easier than I expected and they tasted great! The sweet and sour sauce is great as well. It can be used on many Chinese dishes.

Crab Rangoon

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ pound fresh crab meat (can use canned, drained and flaked or imitation)
½ teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 green onions, thinly sliced
fresh ground black pepper
Wonton skins

Wonton Glue
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Peanut oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine the fresh crab meat with the cream cheese. Fold in the remaining ingredients up to the wonton wrappers. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Create the wonton “glue” by dissolving the cornstarch in the 2 tablespoons of water. Add the egg yolk and stir until well-incorporated and smooth. Set sealing mixture aside.

Place a wonton wrapper on a work surface and fill it with 1 heaping teaspoon of the crab filling. Dip your finger in the wonton glue and lightly paint the border of the wonton wrapper. There are several ways to fold the wontons. The easiest way to fold these is to make them into triangles. Fold over the edges of the wrapper to create a triangle while encasing the crab filling, pressing to seal the edges with your fingertips. Using the back of a fork, ensure that the wontons are sealed by gently crimping the borders to create a fluted edge. I like to take the opposite corners and pinch them. Then pick up the other two sides and press them together. Just make sure the edges are all sealed to insure no filling leaks out when you fry them. Repeat with remaining wrappers.

Preheat oven to 200°.Heat peanut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches the temperature of 350°. Working in batches, fry the wontons until crispy and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. You will need to stir and flip the wontons to make sure they fry evenly. Drain the wontons on paper towels and keep them warm in the oven while you continue frying. Serve warm with sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

5 tablespoons white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cooking sherry
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ cup water

Combine the sugar, salt, vinegar, soy, sherry, and ketchup in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. In a separate small bowl, combine the cornstarch, 3 tablespoons water and the sesame oil and set aside.

Heat the peanut oil in a medium saucepan set over moderate heat until hot. Add in the garlic and stir, pressing on the clove until aromatic and lightly browned.

Pour in the sauce slowly and stir until the liquid comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and add in the cornstarch mixture, stirring until sauce begins to thicken. Add in the ½ cup water slowly, stirring until the sauce is smooth and bubbly. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. The sauce can be made in advance as it holds well in the refrigerator for many days.

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