Lobstah Rangoon!

This year, lobster prices are lower than they’ve been in 20 years – cheaper than cold cuts. So start heatin’ the watta in tha lobstah pot! There’s no reason not to take advantage of these bad boys this summer. You don’t even have to go through the hassle of cooking them yourself: most fishmongers can steam them for you.

But if you’re going to cook up lobster for a clambake yourself, throw an extra one into the pot for use in this variation on a favorite appetizer. (You could use leftover lobster meat, but we’ve never experienced the “leftover” thing at our clambakes.) Skip the deep-frying step and bake them instead. It’s easier and, if you line up your wontons assembly-line fashion as we do, the whole process is a breeze.

Back in the day, lobsters were served not with melted butter but sprinkled with vinegar. They’re quite good that way, actually, so we’ve used a spicy vinegar dipping sauce here; it’s more in keeping with Asian cuisines. (Of course, these appetizers aren’t Asian at all. They were popularized at Trader Vic’s, a Polynesian-themed restaurant, back in the 1950s.)  Feel free to use your favorite dipping sauce. Either way, these Rangoon are a far cry from the restaurant variety (which often, mysteriously, seem to be missing the seafood…)

Lobster Rangoon with Hot Vinegar Dipping Sauce
(24 appetizers)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ Cup cooked lobster meat, chopped finely
¼ Cup thinly sliced scallion
1-2 teaspoons A-1 sauce
Dash garlic powder
24 won ton wrappers

¼ Cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, lobster meat, scallion, A-1, and garlic powder.

Lay out the wonton wrappers. Place 1 teaspoon of filling onto one half of a wonton wrapper. Lightly wet the edges with water. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle. Seal well and arrange on the cookie sheet. Brush lightly with canola oil or melted butter.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through. Serve warm.

While the wonton bake, whisk the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl. Taste it  and add more salt or more chili peppers, to taste.

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