Although Fried Crab Wontons are not authentic Chinese food, they make an appearance at many of our family gatherings, especially the ones celebrating Chinese holidays. We definitely make them for our Spring Festival celebrations too! A friend taught us how to make his recipe years ago, and we’ve been using it ever since. We consider these wontons an American-Chinese treat, a blend between the two cultures. We love them and rarely have any leftovers to eat later. They are pretty simple to make, and only require a few ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need a deep fryer and frying oil.
Fried Crab Wontons
a few stalks of green onion, washed and cut in small pieces
4-6 oz claw crab meat (or imitation crab meat), chopped
3 pkgs of cream cheese, softened
80 wonton wrappers (I use pre-made from the Asian market)
cooking oil for the deep fryer or pan
If you want to add a bit of Maryland to your wontons, try adding 1/2-1 teaspoon, or more, of Old Bay seasoning to the filling also.
To make the filling:
Claw meat is perfect for this recipe (and it’s cheaper, no need to buy the expensive stuff), but sift through the meat to pick out all the shells first. After that, combine the green onion, crab meat, cream cheese, and Old Bay (if you’re adding it in) together in a bowl with a hand mixer. Make sure it’s mixed well.
To fill and fold the wontons:
Smear a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Fold opposite corners together to make a triangle with the wrapper, and then pinch tightly (you do not need to use water to seal the wrappers). Next, push the two open ends up toward the pinched corners to mimic flower petals, and fold together. It really doesn’t matter how you fold the wontons and they do not need to be sealed tightly closed. Because they are fried, the wonton wrappers fry into place immediately and the filling stays inside. Don’t worry about your filling falling out, it just won’t. Repeat this process for each wonton until your filling is gone or you’ve used all the wrappers. Several helpers make the process go faster!
To fry the wontons:
Preheat your deep fryer with oil (I use a Grand Pappy and it’s perfect for this use). It’s ready to go if a few drops of water sizzle when added to the fryer. Fry batches of 10 wontons at a time (or based on the size of your frying area). It takes only a few minutes, if that, for each batch. It is helpful to turn the wontons over with tongs while frying to make sure they are evenly fried. Once they start browning in just a few minutes, strain them out immediately and place them on a plate, covered with paper towels, to cool. I use Helen Chen’s Asian Spider Strainer to pull them out. Repeat this process with all of the wontons.
My whole family gobbles these up every time we make them. We think they are tastier than the restaurant version, and they are much cheaper to make too! They’re a fun addition to family gatherings and we always look forward to enjoying them!