Note: I started this post like 3 months ago but I didn’t want to post another Fun Failure so soon after the Pumpkin Ice Cream Incident. In the meantime I’ve had a chance to redeem myself, so hold on to your hats, this is a long one. Skip to the end of you just want a recipe for a good appetizer / snack.

The first time we discussed Style vs Substance I talked about the importance of food looking good when plated and especially when photographed. Today we’ll talk about the flip side, developing flavors.

A few weeks ago there was canned crab on sale. Being a rather impulsive shopper I snagged a can and picked up a few extra items over the next few weeks until i had the makings of one of my favorite foods, Crab Rangoon. A properly made crab rangoon is magic; you get the crunch of the wonton wrapper yielding to the soft velvet of warm cheese, the tang of scallion and soy cutting through the slight sweetness of crab meat and cream cheese.

I won’t link to a recipe because there are a million out there, but here’s how it went down  –
Ingredients: Cream cheese, scallions, crab meat, soy sauce,Worcestershire sauce, garlic, wonton wrappers, egg

Technique:  Finely dice scallions and mix into room temperature cream cheese along with minced garlic, crab, and soy and Worcestershire sauces. Spoon into center of wonton wrapper, brush egg around edges and seal tightly. Fry to golden brown and enjoy.

It looks...odd, somehow.

Is the filling supposed to be brown and gooey?

Hot Oil Treatment

A decent first effort

They look pretty good, right? Don’t believe the hype, ya’ll. These are tiny molten hot packets of evil. The filling that didn’t seep out into the oil and dang near start a grease fire is gooey, salty, and makes my lovely lump crab taste rancid.
Mistakes: Substituted fat free cream cheese for regular cream cheese; as we saw with the ice cream, it has a plastic-y texture that doesn’t melt properly. Added 1 tablespoon of soy sauce instead of 1 teaspoon. Didn’t seal edges of wonton tightly enough.


Defeated, there were many weeks of pouting before I decided to try again with a stumble-y spin. This time there were some key changes – in no way can I call this an authenic Crab Rangoon so lets call them Herbed Cheese Crab Bites.

  • 1 can crab meat
  • 4-5oz spreadable cheese (ie Alouette, Boursin, Rondele, etc)
  • 1 egg

Proceed as before – mix crab into softened cheese, spoon onto wonton and brush egg around edges to seal firmly. Brush or spray lightly with oil and place in 425º oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Golden, crunchy, and delicious

Our lessons for today is that sometimes simple is delicious and that with food, as with people, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Happy eating, friends!