Crab Rangoon are one of those quirky American recipes that we file under “exotic.” I’m sure that was the intent of the infamous Trader Vic’s, where the recipe seems to have originated. They claimed the appetizer was based on a Burmese recipe (hence the name Rangoon, really Yangon – a former capitol of Myanmar, whose name translates to “End of Strife.”) Myanmar (Burma) does have some famous “puff” recipes, but those are more like samosas than anything else – and notably don’t contain cheese. Indeed, if you take a closer look at the Trader Vic’s recipe, you will notice a suspicious similarity to old-fashioned American hot crab dip.
This idea makes Rangoon-making considerably easier: all we had to do was make a shell, fill it with crab dip, and there we are! I found this recipe for baked shells and happened to have a packet of pre-made wonton wrappers and a can of crabmeat…and the rest was easy. If you aren’t so worried about having a hot crab dip and deep-frying, this is a very simple dish to make.
1 6 oz can crabmeat, well drained
1/3 lb cream cheese (we used neufchatel – we thought really hard about using chevre, but decided against it)
1-2 tbsp mayonnaise
half a lemon
celery (we used 3 stalks of home-grown, you’ll probably need 1 stalk)
1 small shallot
raw wonton skins
Sparky began by spraying a mini muffin tin well with cooking spray, and then arranging each wonton skin (we used round ones, but whatever type you get that will fit will work. This went into a 375 degree oven for a little under 10 minutes, or until they started to get golden around the edges and crisp all over. We set them aside to cool (and to allow the residual heat to continue to crisp up the bottom.)
Then we squeezed our lemon half over all of it, blopped in some mayonnaise (you don’t really need to measure, just guess) and mixed carefully until the cream cheese was distributed evenly throughout the dip.
There was nothing more to do than scoop the dip into each baked shell, garnish them and eat! Enjoy!