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Crab and Crowdie Bridies and Wontons

Crab and Crowdie Bridies and Wontons

Beyond the Books

When you’re writing a cookbook, you end up with a lot of leftovers in the fridge. I won’t post photo evidence, as the current state of the interior of our fridge is nothing to be proud of — in fact, the whole kitchen is due for a deep clean of epic proportions after the past few months of recipe development.

Of course, leftovers are the mother of invention in the kitchen, and so, when I found myself feeling a little creative a couple of Saturdays ago, I moseyed over to the fridge to peruse my options. Just as the door alarm was going off I came across the tub of Homemade Crowdie Cheese that I made a few days earlier as well as some crab meat leftover from the previous night’s Fish Pie at the Lillington’s from DOA (a brand new recipe for the cookbook.)

“Crab Rangoon!” I shouted with joy.

imageCrab Rangoon Wontons first appeared on the menu at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco in 1956. These days, you can find them, aka Crab-Cheese Wontons, in Chinese as well as Thai restaurants.

I haven’t had them since my own Trader Vic’s experience in Vancouver, circa 1982, when my friend’s dad took the two of us to the Polynesian-themed restaurant for a special night out. Pretty dresses, Crab Rangoons, Cheese Bings and enough Shirley Temples to make us both sick.

(And the utter delight I just felt when I found that recipe for Cheese Bings tells you what an important right of passage it was. I just sent the link to my friend with a big SQUEEE! and promise to make them for our next girl’s night.)

imageAfter I folded a plate worth of wontons, I remembered the short crust pastry in the freezer — another leftover from recipe testing.

After a brief wait for it to defrost, I made a batch of teeny-tiny Crab Rangoon Bridies suitable for your next cocktail party. The filling is very rich. You can certainly make bigger bridies with this filling if you’d like, but I suggest serving them with a sharply dressed green salad for balance.

Or maybe that’s just my inner Claire pushing the veggies again.

Crab and Crowdie BridiesSorry about the poor picture…I grabbed my camera just in time before they were all gone!


I ended up freezing the bridies at the time, then pulled them out the following weekend for an impromptu cocktail-hour gathering with a few neighbours. I had egg-washed them before freezing, so I simply put them on a baking tray frozen solid and baked them as described in the recipe below, maybe 5 minutes longer.

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Crab and Crowdie Bridies and Wontons

My new go-to recipe for Crab Rangoon. The homemade crowdie cheese is fresher and cleaner tasting than store-bought cream cheese which is full of chemical fillers and stabilizers. Whether in short crust pastry or dumpling wrappers, it’s sure to be a hit at your next gathering.

Makes about 2 dozen bridies or 4 dozen wontons


  • 1 recipe Homemade Crowdie Cheese
  • ½ pound (225 g) crab meat
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or minced
  • Zest from 1 lemon, grated
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 recipe Short Crust Pastry or 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg (bridies only)
  • Peanut or Vegetable Oil, for frying (wontons only)


Combine the crowdie, crab, green onions, garlic, lemon zest, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl and fold together gently until well combined.


Move the rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 375° F.

Roll out the short crust as directed and use a 3” or 4” cutter to cut out rounds. Mound about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the centre of each round. Fold in half and press the edges together firmly, then crimp closed (see video in the notes below). Poke 2 small holes in the tops to allow the steam to escape.

Whisk the egg together with 1 teaspoon cold water. Brush the egg wash onto the bridies then bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.


Mound 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of each wrapper. Moisten 2 edges of the wrapper with water, then fold in half into a triangle. Moisten one of the bottom corners with a bit more water and wrap the corners around the filling to form a little purse.

Heat 2” of peanut oil to 350° F in a pot over medium-high heat. Fry the wontons in groups until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with plum or sweet-chili sauce for dipping.


  • If you have preserved lemon, use a whole minced rind in place of the lemon zest for deep lemon flavour.
  • A great (short) how to crimp video:
  • Both the bridies and wontons freeze well. Cook, directly from frozen, as directed in the recipe.




  1. Kim Puhrmann
    October 7, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Yum! I’ll be making these very soon!

  2. Pam
    October 7, 2015 at 6:03 am

    This looks so Wonderful!! Can’t wait to try these!

  3. Aaron Brown
    October 7, 2015 at 7:01 am

    oh my! How yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Rhonda
    October 7, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Oh these look so good, Theresa. Can’t wait to make a batch!

  5. Marty Brewer
    October 7, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Realizing that they wouldn’t be as good, what and how much of a substitute for the crowdie cheese could I use?

    • Theresa
      October 8, 2015 at 6:05 am

      I’m assuming you mean cream cheese? About a cup. 🙂

    • Marty Brewer
      October 8, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Thanks, Theresa! I love the appetizer but I know I won’t have the ambition to make the cheese part. Cream cheese will have to be my substitute.

  6. Molly
    October 7, 2015 at 10:38 am

    They look amazing, Theresa! Thank you for the recipe. Perfect timing…I can imagine a cozy day in the kitchen this month and getting those tucked away in the freezer waiting for the holiday season. And now I’m toddling off to see what a Cheese Bing is…


  7. Grace
    October 7, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I’m exploring cheese making, and look forward to trying this recipe.
    Btw, at our house, cleaning the fridge of leftovers, & combining them into new dishes, is referred to as “leftover food festival”. Over the years this has yielded many unexpectedly delicious meals. The only problem is not knowing what to say people ask for the recipe!

  8. Judy
    October 7, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    mmm, these look wonderful. I like the idea of the fresh Crowdie Cheese. Something my dil and I may try as both her girls love cream cheese. I’m betting they would Love fresh, home-made. The small appetizer-sized bridies look perfect. Who could resist gobbling them up?? I am returning an “un-ordered” cookbook from another ‘outfit’ today. Think I will just pre-order yours so I can quit printing out recipes from your site and have them in a book with an idex! (what a great concept!) Hope you are having sunshine on your island as we are here in the Front Range of Colorado today!

  9. Mary Lee Taylor
    October 8, 2015 at 8:33 am

    These are yummy!

  10. Judy
    October 8, 2015 at 10:45 am

    As a native San Franciscan, I sure miss Trader Vics! I love the idea of the tiny bridies as an appetizer.

  11. Katherine
    October 8, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I make crowdie all the time. This is going to be delicious! Any tips on buying crab in the Midwest?

    • Theresa
      October 9, 2015 at 8:24 am

      not a clue…good luck!

  12. Bullrem
    October 10, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    How do you get that sweet twisted edge on the birdies? I love that. Very Scottish to use all the scrapes etc.

    • Theresa
      October 11, 2015 at 6:42 am

      Check out the YouTube link at the bottom of the recipe, Helen. I found a short video that demonstrates crimping very well.

  13. Michelle Scott
    October 21, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Thank you! I look forward to trying this AND getting a copy of your cookbook– it is on my Birthday & Christmas Lists!

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