Jan 18, 2013

Crab Rangoon Should NEVER Be Baked

image

In attempt to use my stand mixer, I decided to use it to make my favorite chinese thing ever… crab rangoon. Well, I found a while ago on pinterest that people were baking them. And while I wanted to try that, I was a bit skeptical. Jason also tried it. His results were similar. And thus, we are both going to food blog in the same post about why you should never bake rangoon.

BAI’S INGREDIENTS MADE UP ON THE FLY:
Wonton wrappers, thawed
water set aside for wrapping
1 can “fancy” crab meat
1 brick of cream cheese, softened
3 or 4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 or 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

Preheat your oven to 350F and combine your ingredients in your bowl and mix until well incorporated. Some of the ingredients are by taste, add more or less as you desire. Just make sure your mixture isn’t too ‘wet’ and loose. The mixture I used was absolutely delicious, but alas… I should have FRIED THEM ON THE STOVE.

image

Prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of tin foil and a light spray of nonstick spray. 

Lay out 1 wonton wrapper and wet the edges with a finger. Drop a teaspoon of mixture into the middle of the wrapper and wrap up as you desire. It doesn’t matter how you do it because it’s going to just be air when it’s done cooking and it’s going to not crisp up how you want it and it’s going to spill everywhere anyway.

image

Do this until all of your mixture is used, you WILL have extra wonton wrappers so just throw those in a ziploc bag and put in the freezer for later. Thaw when you want to use. 

Bake your rangoon for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and golden brown.

image

I immediately threw these out because they were disgusting, but the two I did try to cover up with dumpling sauce… well, I don’t like the texture of uncooked pasta, but if you do, serve with dumpling sauce!

————————————————————————————————————


JASON’S STORY 

Like Bai said, I had a go at these stupid things too, and I even used a pre-existing recipe in an attempt to make something happen. It didn’t go according to plan. 

INGREDIENTS
8oz can ‘fresh’ crab meat (I used claw meat from Publix, where they sell real crab meat in plastic containers at the seafood counter. The one time I’ve had any success with crab rangoon I used imitation crab. Both times I’ve used real crab meat it’s been fishy tasting and horrible. Your mileage may vary, but I’m noticing a pattern here.) 
8 oz cream cheese, softened 
Sliced green onions 
½ cup mayonnaise 
Wonton wrappers  


I don’t have any decent pictures because I wasn’t intending to write this up until it turned into an object lesson, so you’ll have to do without.  Bai’s section has plenty of pictures anyway and we basically ended up with identical results.  
 
Get your oven heating to 350. Flake up the crab meat, then mix it with the cream cheese, onions, and mayo. I used my food processor to mix the cream cheese, onions and mayo and then folded in the crab bits. 
 
Lay out your wonton wrappers.  Drop a dollop of crab mixture in the middle of each one and fold it shut, using some water to seal the edges. The more solidly sealed they are, the less chance the crab has to escape in cooking and leave you with a neatly rangoon-shaped pocket of wonton wrapper sitting in a blackened pile of crab cheese. 
 
Bake ~20 minutes, or until the edges are browned. 

image 

It was a disaster. Everywhere there was a thin edge, it got hard as a rock to the point of stabbing you in the roof of the mouth, and everywhere there was filling it was soft, kind of the texture of an oddly-cooked pasta. I couldn’t have left it in any longer because the edges were starting to blacken pretty badly, and the insides were starting to bubble out very badly even though I’d carefully sealed them up.  
 
I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say never make these, because there’s got to be some reason why people seem to like them when they make them, but after both getting exactly the same result using two different methods, I’m unsure what to change. I followed the Kraft recipe pretty much exactly. 
 
I got real Chinese food fairly soon after this debacle to wipe the bitter, bitter taste of the failed rangoon experiment from my palate. Grumble.

image

Just because they’re pretty doesn’t make them edible. Unless you like razors cutting your mouth and nasty uncooked pasta when you bite down.

PRO-TIP: wonton wrappers are made to be steamed or fried. Not baked.