Crab Rangoon – The Four “F’s” of Failure

Crab Rangoon Failures

I have something really important to say that has been eating me up inside for weeks.  If I don’t share it with the world soon, I just might explode like the three Easter Peep’s I “accidently” left in the microwave.

I have a weakness for Chinese buffets.

Insert heavy gasping and moaning here.

Don’t ask me why.  I can’t really explain it.  Perhaps it’s the sweetness of my server as she refers to me by my beverage choice in her broken English.  Or maybe it’s the tingly feeling I get when I dive my chopsticks deep into the goopy mounds of things that taste like chicken.

Several weeks ago I decided to recreate the same joyful sensations at home as I feel at my local, tacky decorated, Chinese restaurant.  Crab Rangoon are one of my favorites.  So why not attempt to make them on my own?

They were a total FAILURE!

I learned several very valuable lessons that faithful evening.  So sit back and enjoy my four “F’s” of failure.   In the mean time, I’m going to leave the Crab Rangoon making to the experts.

Folding: The original recipe called for folding the wontons in the shape of a triangle.  Since I’m not one to follow the status quo, I opted for a more complicated corner to corner pattern.  My lesson here was the process of aligning all four corners together was so time consuming, I got bored after the first five.  Keep it simple and fold it into a triangle pocket.

Frying:  This recipe reminded me of why I don’t deep fry very much.  I hate how my kitchen seems to smell like the back of a fast food restaurant every time I pour even the tiniest amount of oil in a pan.  Mainly, my oil was way too hot for frying the delicate packets.  The first few looked more like blackened golf balls than what they should really look like.  Invest in a really good thermometer.

Filling: The filling was completely flavorless.  I even tried to kick the spice up by adding a half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  I don’t think it was the fault of the original recipe author.   The problem most likely was the cheap imitation crab I found on sale.  Even though times are tough, real crab would have made a world of difference.

Freezing: Ever make something that you really didn’t like and store it in the freezer to not waste food?  Only to leave it there until it becomes so freezer burned it’s completely unrecognizable?  Well, I decided to only cook half of the recipe and store the remaining in the freezer.  Every time I opened the door to reach for the ice cream, there they were reminding of my failures.  Save yourself the trouble.  If you didn’t like it the first time, what makes you think you’re going to like it later?

Authors Note:  Sure the photo may look pretty.  But don’t be fooled, they aren’t as easy as they look.


  1. says

    Cory, don’t let that F-ing Crab Rangoon get the best of you! If my mom can make it (and make it delicious), you certainly can. I’m with FoodieInDisguise on the fryer thing, and hope you try again soon with success!

  2. says

    Listen, you tried and it didn’t work out the first time. Big deal.

    I never even attempt to fold, fry, fill and whatever.
    I don’t even make my own bread.
    Fear of yeast.

    Don’t even think twice about it. I always publish my failures too (usually it’s the recipes fault!).

    • Culinary Cory says

      Hi Stacey, I think its fun to share both my successes and my failures. For me, I always look for the humor in things. Because if you can’t laugh about your mistakes and discuss them, how will anyone ever improve? I agree, sometimes you just gotta blame it on the recipe.

  3. says

    I have been making egg-rolls for years and it has become a favorite at company parties, picnics and countless potlucks. What was one of my secets?

    Invest in a fryer. Depending on the model, you get filtering for the smell and oil splatter, oil re-use ability and temperature control!! I decided to buy one years ago and it was one of the best decisions I made. I could fry things at the location allowing the skins to stay crispy. More importantly, i didn’t have to figure out what to do with the oil and cleanup is much easier.

    I share your affinity for Chinese food and I LOVE crab rangoons!

    p.s. imitation crab meat?? next time don’t go canned or imitation, find fresh crab in your seafood department, it will make a difference between night and day! :)

  4. says

    I share the same fascination with buffets – I love having a great variety of food to choose from. For me, it doesn’t need to be Chinese though … any type will do. :-)

    I’m sure you exclaimed a few F’s while trying to neatly fold the corners. They do look good though.

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing your F’s with us. I would love to recreate crab rangoon at home, but I know it’s difficult – yours is not the first failure or mediocre result I have seen. I will definitely leave mine to the experts.

    And we all have a confession like that, don’t you think? :)


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