Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Crab Rangoon: Trader Vic's Crab Wonton Pupu

These crisp fried wontons with a creamy crabmeat filling were a family favourite of ours when we used to go to Trader Vic's at the bottom of the Hilton Hotel in London, in the 70's and 80's. We'd always start with the pupu platter, which included Crispy Prawns, Char Su Pork, BBQ Spare Ribs and Crab Rangoon. Although some recipes suggest these wontons can be baked, I find they're much flakier, more delicate and soul satisfying deep-fried. Not the healthiest of appetizers, they're a decadent treat and the ideal pupu for a Polynesian-inspired Tiki evening with Ma Tai's and listening to the beautiful music of the late great Hawaiian singer, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. 

Crab Rangoon Wontons
Makes 36

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz crabmeat, drained, squeezed dry and flaked
2 tsp A1 Steak Sauce
1 large egg
1/3 cup scallions, finely chopped
36 wonton wrappers, 4-inches square
1/4 cup water
4 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying

In a medium bowl, combine the crab, cream cheese, A1 sauce, egg and chopped scallions, and mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth. 

To make the wontons, lay a wrapper on a clean dry surface and using your finger, moisten all four edges with water. Place a rounded teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each wonton wrapper. To seal, press 2 opposing corners together over the middle of the filling and crisp  sealing the wonton to create a triangle. Then bring the other opposing corners to meet the top of the triangle and crimp all of the edges to form a small pyramid — it should look like an X-shape looking down on it. Repeat with the remaining wontons and filling.

To deep fry the wontons, heat 3-4-inches of oil in a saucepan over medium-high until the heat registers 375°. Fry the wontons for 10-20 seconds or until they become crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove immediately and drain on paper towels. 

The wontons can be filled, folded at refrigerated up to a few hours or day in advance, but are best enjoyed immediately once they're deep-fried. They can however be kept warm in a single layer on a baking rack set on a baking sheet in a 250° oven for up to 30 minutes, which is what I did, and they were delicious.

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