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Bento Recipes: Crab Rangoons


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Deep-fried nurses' capsWhat you need:

  • 1/2 pound of artificial crab meat
  • 1/2 package (4 oz.) of cream cheese
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • about 20 won ton skins
  • oil for frying (I use canola)
  • Lots of paper towels

Dice up the crab meat and scallion very fine and mix with softened cream cheese, or if, unlike me, you have a food processor, throw those things in and turn them into a paste. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil up to 350 degrees. While that's warming up, assemble the rangoons: set out a wrapper, run a wet finger along the edges to wet them (sort of like an envelope flap, but all the way around), put about 1/2 tbsp of crab mix in the center, draw two corners together and press the edges down to make a tightly sealed triangle. (Press outward from the center to avoid trapping too much air inside, but do not press the filling toward the edges.) Then wet the ends of the two long "points" and bring them together across the middle so they look like little nurse's caps. Repeat.

When the oil is hot, put the rangoons in with the folded side upward. This is important - you want the thinner side to cook first, otherwise as the air inside the rangoon expands it can weaken the wrapper, allowing the cooking oil inside. When one side is golden brown - which takes maybe a minute - turn it over, cook until that side is golden brown, and then place the rangoon on paper towels and blot with more paper towels to drain off the oil.

You can, of course, fold the rangoons in other ways. I've seen them as simple triangles, and of course the fancy pinwheels you see in restaurants. I haven't bothered with the pinwheel shape, as 1) that takes up too much space in a bento box, and 2) I can't imagine how they fry that without the filling turning into gunk.