Friday, May 18, 2012

No Crab Rangoon

I had never had crab Rangoon until I moved to Kentucky for college.  It was a staple at every Chinese restaurant in our small college town.  Upon trying it, it became a staple on my plate!  Something about a fried wonton filled with cream cheese, green onion and crab meat was just the ultimate palate pleaser!

Now what's a vegan girl to do when she wants to have Chinese food?  None of the local Chinese take out places (P.F. Chang's not included) do not offer vegan options... let alone a vegan crab rangoon.... so off I went to find a way to make it myself.  I've seen some vegan restaurants that use carrots in place of crab and I've seen oyster mushrooms in place of many kinds of seafood.  I decided carrots wouldn't be as substantial as the mushrooms.  As for the wonton wrappers... MOST Asian wonton wrappers contain egg.  Check that labels!  Some "Gyoza" wrappers don't contain egg, you can use those if you want to save some effort.  If not, I've included a wonton wrapper recipe below.  Enjoy!

VEGAN WONTON WRAPPERS
(makes about 18-20 wrappers)

1 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot water

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and hot water.  Process into a smooth dough.  When a dough ball has formed, dust it with flour and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside for at least an hour.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for about 2 minutes.  Roll into a log, about 1-inch in diameter.  Cut the log crosswise into 1-inch pieces.  Flatten the pieces of dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Using a rolling pin to roll each piece into a very thin, round wrapper, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  Repeat with remaining dough.  If not using right away, stack each wrapper between pieces of plastic wrap, then wrap them together.  Properly stored the wrappers will keep in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for about 3 months.


NO CRAB RANGOON

1 TBSP canola oil, plus more for frying
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup minced green onions, divided
8 oz oyster mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
Splash of Tabasco sauce
4 oz vegan cream cheese
16-20 vegan wonton wrappers (homemade, see above, or store bought)
2 nori sheets, cut into 1-2 inch squares

In a small skillet, heat 1 TBSP of oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and half of the green onions and cook until softened, about 45 seconds.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Add the soy sauce and Tabasco, and remove from heat and transfer into a medium bowl.  Stir in cream cheese and remaining green onions until well blended.  Set aside to cool.

Arrange the wonton wrappers on your work surface.  Place a piece of the nori on top of each wonton wrapper and top with a small teaspoonful of the filling mixture.  Fold the wontons over to make a semicircle and seal the edges with a bit of water.  Repeat until all of the filling mixture is used up.

In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat.  Add the wontons in batches and cook turning gently until crisp and golden brown.  Keep the cooked wontons warm while you fry the rest.  Serve warm. (with sweet and sour sauce or duck sauce like the Asian restaurants do!)

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