Vegan Cream Cheese Wontons
I love cream cheese the way Oprah loves bread aka ready to scream about it in a commercial they pay me a lot for. It’s tangy cheese frosting. It’s delicious. Whenever I get a bagel in NYC and they add so much cream cheese it sticks to the deli wrapper, I lick the deli wrapper. And if you want to know what monster is standing by the light of the fridge, dipping Reduced Fat Wheat Thins directly into the Philadelphia container, that monster is me. Mostly, I just eat it on different kinds of carbs---the best thing on a Saturday morning is jalapeño cream cheese and cucumber slices on a whole wheat everything bagel. That is just the best thing in the world to me. But sometimes, I do like it hot. Nothing like filling your stomach with hot cream cheese to get you feeling like the sexy woman you’ve always been.
I first tried Crab Rangoons at a Chinese restaurant in Boston that, in return for illegally serving alcohol to minors, hoped you wouldn’t mind that there was crusted old food on the forks they gave you. They made my heart sing. I’ve had them a few times since, and while I think of them fondly, I also think of how terrible they are for my stomach. So I don’t indulge in them as much.
Because, as much as I love cream cheese, it makes my body feel awful. Like I’m dying of the “sweat disease” on the Showtime original television series The Tudors. I cannot finish The Tudors because the guy who plays Henry VIII looks like Steve-O. And I cannot finish a large amount of cream cheese without feeling like Steve-O when he puts his hand into a toaster full of eels or whatever.
Anyway, I’ve been cutting down on dairy (and meat consumption), which has made me feel better and is also nice for the environment. It saves some water and saves some animals, which are two things that we should all be able to agree on as a good thing. We live in a world where pretty much anything can be deliciously imitated—there are bomb chicken nuggets with no meat, drugstore makeup dupes for expensive Sephora things, and hot dogs made from broccoli at a restaurant called Dirt Candy in NYC which actually taste amazing. So you can make whatever dietary decisions that are best for you, but trying these alternatives for both your own self and the world can be a good thing. Don’t tell me I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT CHEESEBURGERS! I’m not telling you that. I’m telling you to try an alternative every once and a while and put it in the dietary rotation and see where that gets you. Reeeelax.
So in my quest to cut down on some of these things, I had my hand at vegan cream cheese wontons. And they are dope. I baked them because I am so HEALTH-CONCIOUS (lol) and also am terrified of putting my hand in fryer oil. The recipe is below:
Alida’s Vegan Cream Cheese Wontons That Don’t Make Her Stomach Explode
-Wonton Wrappers (if you are going full vegan, I use the Twin Dragon brand. The Nasoya brand has eggs, but if you are fine with that, they work too)
-Cup of Vegan Cream Cheese, brought to room temperature (My favorite brand is Tofutti, as I don’t love the taste of Daiya)
-1/2 cup of green scallions, sliced thin
-tablespoon of Sriracha (or more, if you like it spicy)
-splash of soy sauce
-a teaspoon of garlic powder
-salt and pepper to taste
-a small container of water to dip your fingers into
-olive oil to brush on top
What Do I Do Now?
-preheat the oven to 350 degrees
-Mix the cream cheese, scallions, Sriracha, garlic powder and splash of soy sauce until it makes a smooth, thick mixture (should be the consistency of frosting). Add s +p to taste.
-Take wonton wrappers and put a little more than a teaspoon of the mixture into each wonton wrapper. While you're doing this, keep the wrappers in a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out. These will make around 20 or so wontons, and you can keep freeze the rest of the wonton wrappers in a well-sealed Ziploc. I make quick pierogies, dumplings, and ravioli with them.
-Taking a finger dipped in water, run that around the edge of the wonton wrapper and fold over to the shape of your choosing. Make sure the edges are sealed entirely. You can re-wet your finger and press down on any open seams.
-On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, add wontons and brush with a little olive oil.
-Bake until golden brown, which can take about 12-15 minutes. Do not be alarmed if some of the filling spills out, it usually just means you added a little too much to that particular wonton. If all of it spills out, it's because the consistency was too liquidy. That's why the frosting-like texture is important.
-Let cool for a few minutes. Serve with sweet chili sauce or a mixture of soy sauce, scallions, and sesame oil.
-Freeze any leftovers, but there will be none!