Operation: Strawberry Wonton

UPDATE: Go here to vote!

Some of you may remember my kitchen experimentation with the Foodie Fights Food Blogger challenges last year. First, there was this salmon with rhubarb citrus sauce flop for the rhubarb coriander challenge. Then there was this junior bridesmaid worthy entry of chocolate zucchini spice cake for the garam masala zucchini challenge (which I still insist in as sportsmanlike attitude as possible was a winner–especially since I ended up making it at least three times over the course of zucchini season).

Now, Dan and Nick are back with new challenges and a new format in which they announce the ingredients before cheftestants apply to participate. I hopped on the strawberry wonton challenge like a hobo hopping on the Smokey Mountain Railroad, thanks to a lifelong strawberry obsession.

I eat them year round, keeping a stash in my freezer (handpicked and frozen in June) and making weekly treks to a local farm or farmer’s market to keep them in my fridge all summer. I’ve even been known to spend $3 for fresh berries, flown or shipped in from South America, in the dead of winter.

But berry obsession does not equal berry perfection. I set to work making strawberry rangoon Sunday afternoon before realizing my filling wasn’t thick and sturdy enough to hold up in the wontons.

Take Two.

I love crab rangoons, but I try to avoid them. I’ve lost 65 lbs with another 60-ish to go, so many of the meals I make (the occasional cupcake recipe and chocolate zucchini spice cake aside) are very healthy but also very flavorful. My philosophy is that life is too short and my calorie budget too small to waste it on blah food.

Soooooo, my modern and healthy take on the crab rangoon is:

Baked Mango Chicken Rangoon with Tropical Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce


Makes 24 rangoons

Rangoon Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chicken breast, poached and shredded
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2-3 sliced green onions, greens included
  • 1/2 cup finely diced mango
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/8 tsp of Chinese Five Spice powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of wonton wrappers
  • cooking spray

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 4 TBS rice vinegar
  • honey (to taste)
  • 1 TBS cornstarch mixed with 4 TBS of warm water

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the chicken, cream cheese, onion, mango, garlic, ginger, spice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

3. Spray a cupcake tin with the cooking spray and then lay a wonton wrapper in each section, making a little cup.

4. Use a cookie scoop to spoon 1 TBS-sized servings of the chicken mixture into each wonton cup.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until wontons are crisp and brown.

6. In the meantime, put the pineapple juice, berries and mango in a small saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softens. Puree with a stick blender.

7. Add the vinegar and cornstarch mixture into the pureed fruit, stirring frequently until mixture starts to thicken. Taste to determine if it needs honey (this really depends on how sweet your fruit is).

8. Serve the wontons fresh out of the oven with sauce on the side to dip.

Each rangoon is about 54 calories according to The Daily Plate (without sauce).

What does it taste like? The Chinese Five Spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, star anise, cloves and ginger so it really partners well with both the chicken and the fruit, drawing out sweet and spicy aspects of the dish.

Don’t worry about purchasing a spice blend that you’ll only be able to use with one dish. If that’s your concern, you easily make your own using spices on hand; however, this blend really makes a variety of dishes pop, including stir fries, chicken and best of all: BBQ!

The sauce is much like a traditional sweet and sour sauce with strong berry and mango flavors.

If you weren’t watching your waistline (or if you are but you’re allowing yourself a splurge), they can be fried by instead wetting the edges and folding either into a triangular shape or a little purse (by pinching the edges together at the top). To do that, place a few inches of oil in a large pot or deep pan, heat the oil up to 350 degrees and cook until wontons are brown.

In the meantime, if any of the other cheftestants made strawberry rangoons, I very much look forward to making their recipe too–especially since I’ve been envisioning it for days!

Bon appetit! Now go on over to Foodie Fights to see what the other cheftestants cooked up and to vote on who you think should win the challenge (me! me! me!).

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8 responses to “Operation: Strawberry Wonton

  1. Wow that’s a super creative recipe! I never would have thought of something like that. Good luck, I hope you win!

  2. Whoa, dang girl!

    First, congrats on the weight loss! I’m down 83.6 with another 20 to go before I hit the “normal” weight range.

    And your rangoon look amazing! I was worried about competing with people who have, like, cooking experience.

    Now I’m terrified. LoL

  3. um YUMMMMM. These sound amazing!

    Crab Rangoon are my second fat girl crack (after homemade chex mix)

  4. Jenn in Tenn

    Wow, super creative and sounds delicious! So nice to see someone trying to make things a little healthier AND taste good!

  5. Thanks, everyone!

    Kenneth: Whoa on the weight loss–that’s fantastic! Gotta love that there’s another person out there fully enjoying good food and losing some extra pounds in the process. Best of luck to you in the competition and on the scale!

  6. Holy yum!! I am so stealing this recipe! Thanks Tina!!

  7. I must make these ASAP! Awesome job – I hope you win. 🙂

  8. Sadly, I only got 4th place 😦

    But I got to eat some awesome chicken wontons in the process!

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