I just looooove me some crab rangoons from our local Chinese restaurant. Hubby prefers their egg rolls, so all the crab rangoons are mine. Muahaha! It’s a good thing the side order is only four, cuz…yummy. I apparently pinned the source post a couple of times on Pinterest so clearly this recipe was meant to be. It’s a really elegant-looking twist on the terrific Chinese food classic, and the best part is, after tasting pretty good, is how easy it is to make.
Lox is a salt and smoke-cured salmon – had lox, cream cheese and bagels before? You’ll probably enjoy this if so. If you haven’t had lox before, it’s salty stuff, ut good stuff. It’s been a while since I’ve had it and I’d forgotten how salty it was.
For this recipe, you need to fine-chop the lox, and it’s a little sticky so expect to have to stop occasionally to clear off your knife. The nice thing is that bright color will still pop when you’re ready to present your rangoons for the hungry mob.
The filling is a simple, snappy mixture of softened cream cheese, the lox, chives and….that’s it! You could probably scoot in a little fresh ground pepper if you’d like, but the lox has such a powerful flavor puchh that this really doesn’t need much additional seasoning. The chives are a nice addition, being neither too strong or too soft in taste to contribute to it all.
The easiest way to get those wrappers into your mini muffin pan wells is to spray your hand with a small bit of nonstick spray, then one side of your wonton wrapper with the same. Place the un-sprayed wonton side onto your hand and move the wrapper around till that side is covered, spreading the spray on the other side at the same time with your free hand. Yes, this gets really nonstick spray-y. It will get more difficult to actually hold onto the nonstick spray can. I had to occasionally wash my hands before moving on to do more of the wrappers. It was like slip-n-slide, wonton edition!
Gently press the wontons into each well with your fingertips. They don’t have to go completely, perfectly into the muffin wells, but they will tear easily if you jab your nails at them. It’ll happen. Thank goodness my package of wonton wrappers had upwards of forty or so.
When that’s all done, which is pretty much the hardest part (and it’s not that hard), fill each wonton with about one tablespoon of filling. We actually started doing a little less when it looked like we might not have enough, so just judge your filling to unfilled wonton ratio as you go and adjust if necessary.
Thanks to all that slippery cooking spray, these bake up really nice and pretty, just the right amount of golden brown color. The wontons won’t be as crisp where the filling’s touched it, but the nice crispy upper edges make a nice contrast to this. Very much like a rangoon that’s been deep-fried…except these are baked, so at least there’s some healthier bonus. I mean, sure, not much, but that’s better than nothing.
These are really pretty. Most of the fun comes from shaping the wonton wrappers when you put them in the muffin wells to create a flower-like shape. Filled with the lox and cream cheese, they look even more like a little botanical presentation. But the ultimate reward is how good they taste. Admittedly, salty things should probably be your style when going for these, but you can always cut back on the lox a little if you prefer. We loved these, but thankfully a couple or so per person are plenty. They are just about the most perfect party appetizer we’ve tried to date because they’re quick to make, easy to put together and it makes a really decent amount for said party. Marry that with great flavor and all you need is the drinks. Enjoy!
from The Way to His Heart
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: about 10 minutes Level: easy Makes: 24 rangoons
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 oz lox, thinly sliced cured Salmon, rough-chopped
- 2 1/2 Tbsp chopped chives
- 24 wonton wrappers
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, salmon, and chives together. Spray both sides of the wonton wrappers with cooking spray and place them in your muffin tin. Spoon roughly 1 Tbsp of the salmon mixture into your wonton. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and serve warm, although they are still pretty tasty at room temperature!
One comment in the source post suggested topping these with capers. Since I had some on hand, we tried it and while it was tasty, it’s yet another level of saltiness, so use or not at your discretion.
The original doesn’t say to chop the salmon, but I decided to do so when hand shredding it was getting awkward and extra messy. Too, the knife just gets you smaller pieces, which is obviously ideal.