Monday, February 13, 2012

Takeout Makeover: Crab Rangoon

Are you ready to have your mind blown? I just developed a recipe for tasty crab rangoon that have ONLY 41 calories a piece! And then take 15 minutes, start to finish, to make. Hold onto your hats because there is a bit of a back-story...

I was in a bit of a blogging slump this weekend. I love blogging, it is something that has become an amazing outlet for me as well as a way to connect with lots of wonderful people. My day job is very serious and analytical, so I appreciate the opportunity to be creative with food, writing and photography. But, as any food blogger will tell you, sometimes all the shopping, cooking, styling, photo taking, cleaning up, writing, posting, and editing gets exhausting. So I was feeling a little down about it and, of course, Craig comes to the rescue. He started throwing out dozens of yummy recipe ideas and offering to help with the cooking and clean up. He is such a sweetheart. One of the things he begged me to make was crab rangoon.

Now. I don't like crab rangoon. I've never understood the appeal of deep fried pockets of melted cream cheese. I will try one from time to time, but its not something I ever order or enjoy. Apparently, this puts me in the minority because most people think I'm absolutely insane. Our favorite new Thai place in Somerville, Sweet Ginger (see post about our visit there) makes curry crab rangoon, which is quite a nice twist. Everyone who tries them has raved (including the Boston Globe). So. Craig begs me to make curry crab rangoon and all of a sudden the wheels start turning in my head.....

I figured there has to be a better way to prepare these. So I thought about what I don't like about the ones I've had. First, that they are deep fried, and second, that there is so little crab and too much cream cheese. With my new inspiration, I set out to makeover the traditional crab rangoon. Make them light and healthy while keeping the delicious flavors and texture associated with the unhealthy version.

I am so happy to say these were a smashing success! I LOVED them. I couldn't stop gobbling them up. I made 24 and Craig and I demolished them in 5 minutes. Here's the best part: my skinny recipe has only 41 calories per rangoon!!!!!! So you can enjoy this indulgence without racking up a ton of calories. These also can be made in only 15 minutes.I was going to make a dipping sauce for these, but turns out the flavors are so intense that you don't need one at all. I decided to forgo the extra calories of a sauce and just enjoy the complex curry deliciousness.

Here's the deal: I bought some really nice jumbo lump crab meat (frozen will do fine if you thaw it first) and mixed that with curry powder, ground ginger and cayenne. I added just enough cream cheese to make them melty and creamy, but not to overpower the delicious crab and spices. I then placed wonton wrappers in a mini muffin tin, filled them with the crab mixture, and folded the ends over. 10 minutes in the oven and you are ready to serve. I am just bummed I didn't make these before the holidays - this would be a fabulous party food! Now I want to have a party just for an excuse to make them again...

Read more for the full recipe!

Nutrition Info: makes 24 rangoons
Per piece:
41 calories
1.1g fat
2.7g protein

24 wonton wrappers (I used Nasoya brand)
olive oil cooking spray
8oz lump crab meat
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2.5 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup scallions, washed and thinly sliced

Step by Step Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Spray mini muffin tin with olive oil spray

3. Push a wonton wrapper into each muffin tin

4. In a mixing bowl, combine crab, Worcestershire, curry, ginger and cayenne

5. Mix with a fork, breaking up large chunks of crab

6. Add cream cheese, mashing with a fork until fully incorporated

7. Using a teaspoon, spoon filling mixture into wontons

8. Fold ends of wonton wrapper over mixture, wet finger to seal

9. Bake for 10 minutes, until ends are slighly browned

10. Serve hot garnished with scallions

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At February 13, 2012 at 11:05 PM , Blogger Jenn Kendall said...

these sound so delicious! definitely want to try these very soon!!

At February 13, 2012 at 11:08 PM , Blogger Christine's Pantry said...

Love this... thanks for sharing.

At February 13, 2012 at 11:30 PM , Blogger Stephie said...

I'm falling out of my chair. Awesome!

At February 13, 2012 at 11:38 PM , Blogger Kim Bee said...

These look amazing. I am not a seafood fan but these could change my mind.

At February 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM , Blogger Catherine said...

Wow. Only 41 calories? Looks amazing!

(Click here to enter my anthropologie kitchen tools giveaway.)

At February 14, 2012 at 1:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is brilliant! Sadly, I'm allergic to crab...and I love the cream cheese ones. I wonder how this would be with chicken? I suspect I'd like these better than the originals! BRAVO! (and I'm glad you were inspired!)

At February 14, 2012 at 2:33 AM , Blogger Baker Street said...

Wow! These are amazing. I love crab. YUMMMM!

At February 14, 2012 at 5:25 AM , Blogger Tes said...

What a brilliant idea! I love crab and this can work very well in my household :)

At February 14, 2012 at 8:04 AM , Blogger Lilla said...

I want to try your delicious recipe soon!!

At February 14, 2012 at 9:16 AM , Blogger Jane and Lorraine said...

These look delicious!

At February 14, 2012 at 10:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

These look great Dara. I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of the deep fried appetizer and they all seem to be just that. The added calories takes the deliciousness away for me. Oven baking is a great alternative. To be even less caloric, have you considered using phyllo pastry instead? I am going to bookmark these and save for my next dinner party.

At February 14, 2012 at 10:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea!! Thank you so much for sharing

At February 14, 2012 at 3:52 PM , Blogger Kristin @ thefreshfind said...

Wow these look great! I really want to try this for the next party. I like how they are baked and not fried, such a good idea!

At February 14, 2012 at 3:56 PM , Blogger lacyd said...

These look so good!! I love crab rangoon but they're always so greasy! Loving this lightened up version, great recipe!
- Lacy @

At February 14, 2012 at 4:19 PM , Blogger Dee Hurter said...

I love that you made these low calorie! I am totally saving this recipe for future use as I'm always looking for a good crab rangoon low calorie recipe. Thanks for sharing and Happy Valentines Day!

At February 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, those are amazing for that few calories! :) Looks elegant and delicious!

At February 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM , Blogger PolaM said...

How beautiful! I'm with you on the rangoon but I think I would love yours!!

At February 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a delicious makeover! Definitely want to try it.

At March 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cannot WAIT to make these!

At April 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM , Blogger KC said...

Made these over the weekend...they were a smash. And soooo simple. Thanks!


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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It means so much to me. Please let me know if you have questions about any of my recipes or if I forgot a step. Also, is there something you would like me to cook or a recipe to makeover? Let me know!

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