Valentine's Day Appetizers: Crab Wonton Recipe


Hope you had a wonderful weekend. If, like me, you were celebrating, Chúc Mừng Năm Mới (Happy New Year! in Vietnamese)! Now Valentine's Day is up in a few days, so even though my husband Lulu is a vegetarian, I thought I'd share a recipe that seafood-loving couples can enjoy together as part of a romantic meal.

I made the wonton wrappers from scratch and filled them with a mixture of freshly cracked Dungeness crab, carrots, leeks, parsley, mascarpone cheese and olive oil. I paired the crab appetizers with an apple jelly dipping sauce that was out of this world. It truly tied the dish together.

Give this a try and let me know if your Valentine appreciated it! In my opinion, Valentine's Day should be celebrated every day and it doesn't have to be about someone with whom you're in a relationship. It should be about celebrating those you love and who mean the world to you!


Yields: 8 servings

½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable oil
1 pound freshly cracked crab (click on the link for the recipe)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons leek (green part only)
2 tablespoons carrots, boiled and finely diced
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 lime, zested and freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
¾ cup apple jelly, store-bought
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


How to make wonton wrappers:

In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg with sugar.

In a large mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Form a well and place the egg mixture into the indentation. Form a dough ball and knead the dough until combined. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Cover with a damp towel, place the bowl in a warm spot and let rest for about 1 hour. 

The dough should be neither too sticky nor too dry.  Dust a flat work space (or a board) with a generous amount of cornstarch. Roll out the dough ball with a rolling pin, then pass through a pasta roller machine, using the thickest setting. Dust the pasta sheet with a little cornstarch on both sides to prevent it from sticking to the machine. Repeat 2-3 times. For the last time through, use setting "5" of the Kitchenaid flat roller pasta attachment. Using, 2¾" metal circle cutter, cut dough disks. Using the remaining dough, roll back into the pasta roller and form more disks.

Sprinkle with cornstarch and cover with a kitchen towel while preparing the crab filling.

For the crab filling: 

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the leeks and cook for 2 minutes until slightly golden. Add the carrots and ginger. Toss well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the crab, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, flat-leaf parsley, lime juice, lime zest and mascarpone cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well until well incorporated. 

Making the wonton appetizers: Place a wonton wrapper on the working space. Place a small mound of crab (about 2 teaspoons) in the middle of the wonton. Dip your finger in a small bowl of water and moisten around the edge of the wonton wrapper. Gather the wonton into a bunch and firmly press with your fingers. Chill in the refrigerator if preparing in advance.

Frying the wontons:

Put a cooling rack lined with paper towels on a cookie sheet.

Heat the vegetable oil in a small fryer. Place the wonton one at a time in the hot oil; cook up to 3 wontons per batch.

Fry in batches. Make sure the wonton fritters don't touch each other. Lower the heat to medium. Deep fry for 2 minutes per batch. The fritters will start to pop and turn into a golden color. Flip each piece using chopsticks or a spider skimmer and cook for about a minute more until golden on both sides.

Delicately lift each fritter, draining as much oil as possible and transfer them to the cooling rack. Continue with the rest of the wontons.

For the dipping sauce: In a saucepan, combine the apple jelly, 1 teaspoon ginger, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Warm the mixture and transfer to a dipping bowl. Let cool.

Assembly time: Once the fried wontons have cooled to room temperature, serve them with the apple jelly dipping sauce on the side.

Bon appétit!


I added a bit of cayenne pepper to balance with the flavor of the crab.

As PhamFatale editor Carole would say, "there’s also the possibility of buying already cooked whole crabs from a supermarket or fish market, where they’ll usually clean and crack them for you."

If the dough is too dry you could add a little water; I didn't.

This recipe yields exactly 44 wonton wrappers.

If the wonton wrappers are rolled thin properly, then dusted with a bit cornstarch and sealed, they can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Check out more fruity chutney recipes.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 11, 2013.


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