During my heavier college days (aka “the Before Time”), I used to get Chinese takeout at least once every two weeks. My standard order was pan-fried noodles with beef and broccoli, a large shrimp fried rice, scallion pancakes if I was feeling fancy, and a large order of crab rangoon. I would eat all of this food in the course of one night.
I wish I were exaggerating.
The crab rangoon were arguably my favorite part of the meal. The combination of crispness and creaminess made for an awesome late-night snack. The funny thing is, there was actually very little crab in them. They were pretty much just pockets of cream cheese deep-fried in oil. I probably should have felt ripped off every time I ordered them, but really, “cream cheese deep-fried in oil?” Exactly what part of that is supposed to be a problem?
The answer, of course, is how awful they are for you. My healthier version of this appetizer is inspired by those beloved crabless crab rangoon. There’s not a bit of crab to be found in this recipe. This makes it a great option for vegetarians. Not to worry though — you can easily incorporate crab meat into the filling if you like.
Flavored with plenty of ginger and garlic, cream cheese is folded into wonton wrappers that are baked instead of fried. Served with a spicy orange dipping sauce made with sugar-free marmalade and plum butter, these crab rangoon will satisfy your Chinese cravings without all the grease and fat. Here’s how to put them together.
For the crab rangoon
8 wonton wrappers
1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese
1/2 tablespoon scallions
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce (or lite soy sauce for vegetarians)
For the sauce
2 tablespoons sugar-free orange marmalade
2 tablespoons lite rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon plum butter
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
red pepper flakes, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F. To prepare the sauce, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and adjust to taste. Set the sauce aside until you are ready to serve. In another small bowl, combine the cream cheese, scallions, ginger, and garlic powder. Stir until well combined. Add in the fish or soy sauce; again, adjust the seasonings to taste.
To fill the crab rangoon, place about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the center of each wrapper. Pour a small amount of water in a bowl. Dip your finger in the water and moisten two adjacent edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to cover the filling and press down on the edges to seal the won ton shut. Place the crab rangoon onto a baking sheet prepared with nonstick spray or parchment paper. Lightly mist the crab rangoon with cooking spray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crisp on the edges. Serve warm.
Per 2 crab rangoon
Servings: 4 / Calories: 57 / Total Fat: 0.1 g / Trans Fat: 0.0 g / Cholesterol: 4 mg / Sodium: 228 mg / Total Carbohydrates: 9.2 g / Sugars: 0.8 g / Protein: 3.6 g
Per 1/2 tablespoon sauce
Servings: 4 / Calories: 26 / Total Fat: 1.1 g / Trans Fat: 0.0 g / Cholesterol: 0 mg / Sodium: 175 mg / Total Carbohydrates: 5.3 g / Sugars: 2.8 g / Protein: 0.0 g