Vegan Chubosaurus

what this fat vegan eats

junk food friday – vegan cream cheese wontons – veganmofo 4

3930562108_f07c8dec17Sometimes, when my kid’s away and my husband’s working late, and it’s just me and the cats and Six Feet Under on DVD (which I can’t watch when the offspring’s home, obvs), I like to have a Junk Food Friday. In the past, this was more like Ordering In Friday, but since money is An Issue, I go DIY and make my own.

Back in my pregan days, I loved crab rangoon. LOVED. When I lived on the Oregon coast, I’d drive over two hours just to eat it. Sometimes I’d make my own, but it was never quite right. Of course, I would never eat it now, but I have missed it these past few years. So I decided to make my own crabless crab rangoon. My husband called them “faux crab wontons”, but since there’s no faux crab, I guess “vegan cream cheese wontons” might be more accurate. Anyway! My kid’s away, and my husband’s not here, so I fixed myself a mess o’ cream cheese wontons, and had myself a sweet little Junk Food Friday.

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I don’t have a recipe, per se, since I pretty much just throw stuff together. I toss a few cloves of garlic into my food processor and mince them. I used more than a few tonight – more like several to many. If you are a person who doesn’t like too much garlic, 2 or 3 cloves would probably do you just fine. I, personally, don’t believe that there is such a thing as too much garlic, and I probably ended up using 8 cloves or so. I know, that’s a lot, and these particular wontons had that garlic bite that makes your tongue hurt just a little, but sometimes I like that.

Okay, so, mince some garlic, then add a tub of Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese (I buy the non-hydrogenated variety so I can pretend to be virtuous), a generous sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and a splash of (low sodium) soy sauce. Blend it all up – make sure it’s well-mixed and everything’s incorporated, but try not to overdo it, because you don’t want the mixture to get runny. It’s better if it still has a little body and firmness to it. Plop a dollop of the mixture into a wonton wrapper (read your labels, as many brands aren’t vegan!), and fold it up. You’ll want to have all your wontons made before you start cooking, because trying to deep-fry some while still assembling others is an excellent way to end up with a bunch of burned wontons. Once all your wontons are assembled, heat a couple of inches of oil in a deep cast-iron skillet – a wok would work perfectly, too, and you could even use a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When the oil’s hot – add a couple of drops of water to the oil when you fill the pan; when the water sizzles, you’ll know that the oil’s hot enough – put a few wontons into the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan/pot/wok – you don’t want to have the oil temperature drop precipitously, or have the wontons stick together. Tonight I used my 10-inch Lodge cast-iron, and I put 6 or so wontons in at a time. Fry them until they’re a lovely golden color, keeping in mind they will continue to darken a bit after being removed from the oil. You also might want to turn them as they cook – they float, so I’ll flip them about halfway through, to ensure even cooking and color. Use a slotted spoon – or, even better, a wire skimmer; I don’t have one but I really wish I did – to remove them from the oil. Drain them on paper towels or a brown paper bag.

For the filling, you could also add one or more of the following: green onions (this would make for a more authentic crab rangoon experience, but I abhor all onions), worcestershire sauce, minced ginger, lemon juice, cilantro, mayonnaise (bleurgh), water chestnuts. I intend to try them with a small amount of kelp powder and/or minced nori added, to give them a bit of a fishy taste.

You’ll want to eat them while they’re still hot, but not so hot that you’ll end up maimed from molten cream cheese. Eat them with sweet & sour sauce, or hot mustard, or sriracha sauce, or chili garlic sauce. Eat them and be filled with joy. IMG_1091

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3 Comments»

  johanna wrote @

Nom nom! I’ve never eaten crab rangoon but the first time you talked about these they sounded delicious. Also now that you & Chris have told me that, despite Phredd’s protestations to the contrary, you can use an ordinary cast iron pan to deep-fry, I’m hoping these are in my eating future sometime soon!!

  veganchubosaurus wrote @

Yes, do it! You must, and then tell me all about it!

  chris. wrote @

We made these tonight, and, HOLY CRAP AMAZING!!! We did add some of the (freakishly shrimp-like) vegan shrimp from Sidecar. So, so, so good. Andy said, “You. Go. Tell Sarra they were fantastic.” They were!! They were fantastic!!

Heh. Even now he’s still wandering past going, “Ohhhh, yeah…….”


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