My buddy Simone and I always used to say we could rank how good a Chinese restaurant was by their crab puffs.
Well, I'm a horrible Chinese restaurant, but I've come up with a pretty decent recipe for homemade crab puffs - it, like most of my recipes, will probably be tweaked and improved upon in the future, but if you're wanting a tasty appetizer, this will do the trick.Crab Puffs a la Caucasian Girl
8 oz cream cheese (tub or block, but not the whipped variety!)
7 oz can of crab meat, drained
2 - 3 Tablespoons onion powder (taste it! I never measure onion powder...)
1 pkg square wonton wrappers
Chinese Five Spice (optional)
Peanut oil (or vegetable or canola oil if you don't have peanut handy)
Combine the cream cheese, crab meat, and onion powder in a small bowl until well blended. Check to make sure there's enough savory onion flavor for your taste - you don't want to be overwhelmed by onion, but you want to taste it!
Place a small dish of water near your prep area - I used a small saucer. You'll want to take a few wonton wrappers out of the package at a time to keep them from getting too dried out.
For each crab puff, take a wonton wrapper and shake a small amount of Chinese Five Spice in the center - see the photo for an example. If you don't have Chinese Five Spice, it's all good. If you have it, it's a nice addition.
Scoop about 1 Tablespoon of the crab and cream cheese mixture into the center of the wrapper, then dip a finger in your water dish and run it along all four edges of the wrapper around the filling. Pull the corners of the wrapper up around the filling to the center, creating a little bundle, and pinch the wet edges together to seal them up.
Now you have a choice: healthy, or tastier.
The healthy option is to bake them. If baking, I'll use the peanut oil to lightly grease the cookie sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, and pop them in - check in about 10-12 minutes, they should be light golden brown all over, although the tips of the wonton bundle will brown more.
The tastier option is to pan fry them. You don't need to submerge them, just use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan with a little depth. Heat the oil to medium heat - you don't want them to burn, and the wonton wrappers cook quickly. Drop them in the oil carefully as there will be a few drops of water left from sealing up the wrappers, and they will splatter a bit. Be prepared to turn the wontons quickly and frequently until they're a nice golden shade all over.
Serve with chinese mustard, sweet and sour sauce, or just eat 'em plain! This recipe makes around 3 dozen crab puffs, estimated... could be more.