Making Wontons Like The Pros

Ben Fink

Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron once mused that American hostesses had invented the modern-day tradition of serving hors d'oeuvres before a meal to "keep guests from starving or getting stoned" when dinner was delayed. An hors d'oeuvre—in this case, a restaurant appetizer—that's been on Trader Vic's menu since the late 1930s to "pleasantly bridge the gap from the cocktail hour to dinner" is crab Rangoon—crispy wonton skins filled with creamy crabmeat and cream cheese. They are irresistible, and folding the wonton skin into a butterflylike shape is easy; we've outlined it here.

FILL Put wonton skin on work surface with one of the corners pointing toward you. Put filling in center. Wet far edges with water. Fold skin over filling.

SEAL Gently pat filling down to flatten slightly. Then press out any air pockets from triangle. Firmly press wonton skin edges together to seal in filling.

GATHER Moisten area just above filling with a dab of water. Gather middle of flat edges on either side of filling between each thumb and forefinger.

PINCH Gather edges toward moistened area and pinch together. Using your forefinger, press edges to wonton skin just above filling to seal folds together.