Baked Krab Rangoon

Yes, that’s Krab with a “K.”  Fake crab is made out of a fish called pollock, plus a ton of other stuff.  It’s not great for you, nor does it taste appreciably like crab, but it’s tasty, cheap, and easy to work with.  I bought a package of Krab to make Krab & Swiss grilled cheese sandwiches, but had a lot of extra, so I figured I’d better come up with something that uses a lot of it.  Since we had part of a package of cream cheese leftover in the fridge that was not earmarked for anything, and I had a few packs of gyoza wrappers in the freezer waiting for a noble purpose, I decided to make Krab Rangoon.

ingredients for krab rangoon

With something like rangoon, there is so much other stuff going on flavor-wise that it really is pretty unnecessary to use real crab.  The photo above is really more of a guide than anything.  I’ll provide a comprehensive ingredients list later, but those are the items that I found on most of the rangoon recipes online.

fake crab

8oz fake (or real, if you’re rich) crab
1.5 packs (or 12 oz) cream or neufchatel cheese
1 large scallion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (sriracha or gochujang would be great here too)
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
~1 Tblspn fish sauce
1 large package gyoza or wonton wrappers(wonton wrappers seem much more common, but I used what I had on hand)

krab rangoon filling

*Soften your cream cheese.  My microwave has a cream cheese soften setting (I actually use this far more often than I’m comfortable admitting)
*Mix in finely chopped scallion, plus all the dry spices.  Taste.  It probably needs salt.
*Add in tamari.  Taste.  It’s probably missing something.  Add a few dashes of fish sauce.  Yes, fish sauce.  I love fish sauce.  I use it in lots of stuff, like chicken noodle soup, to add a little je nes se quois.  Used sparingly, it doesn’t taste at all as funky as it smells.  Used a little more liberally, it doesn’t either, provided you match it to the flavors you’re going for.  Using it fairly liberally in this application made the dish, IMO.  If fish sauce makes you nervous, add a dash, mix, taste, repeat until desired depth of flavor is developed.  I think I probably used more than a tablespoon, but since I didn’t measure, I can’t be sure.
*Flake your krab in, and stir to combine.  To taste test the filling, I put it on a cracker.  You could also crisp up a wonton wrapper in a hot pan or your preheated oven and try that. The cracker was easier.

krab rangoon filling

*Lay out a few wrappers, and place a tablespoon or so of filling on each one.  Get a small dish of water and use your finger to wet around the outside of a few wrappers at a time.  Fold as desired.  I folded mine in half, sealed, then folded the little wings over and sealed those together to make little dumplings.
*Lather, rinse, repeat until you’re either out of wrappers or you’re out of filling.  If you run out of filling first, fill the remainder of your wrappers with nutella, you won’t be disappointed.  If you run out of wrappers first, put the rest of the filling into a ramekin, top with parmesan or swiss cheese, bake, and spread on crackers/bread/your lover.
*Place on a greased pan, and spray fairly liberally with cooking spray (this is necessary to help them brown and crisp nicely without drying out too much).  Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, turn over, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the desired level of golden brown glory is achieved.

We ate these plain, but if you wanted to serve these with a sauce, they’re traditionally done with sweet chili sauce (which is epic).

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