Oven roasted cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers filled with cheesy crab and Chinese sausage filling with a crispy sesame, onion topping. East meets West kinda snack with flavours that will tickle your taste buds!
What do you get when you cross a jalapeno popper with crab rangoon? A crispy cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers stuffed with cheesy crab filling! This is what happens when I have weird snacky cravings, I just combine them.
These are not your average cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers - I broke tradition and didn't use bacon and instead used Chinese sausages (aka Lap Cheong) to give this a slightly smoky, sweet and salty bite, however if you can't find Chinese sausage, you can replace this bacon.
Basically, if you like crispy and spicy bite sized snacks stuffed with cheesy garlicky crab and salted meats then you'll enjoy these. 🙂
For this cream cheese stuffed jalapeno popper recipe, most of these ingredients can be found at a local grocery store, with the exception of Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong).
For this recipe, I used a Chinese Sausage called Lap Cheong. This is an incredibly flavourful sausage with a sweet and salty flavour infused with rice wine. Not to worry if you can't get a hold of this sausage locally, you can find these online too and they last quite a while as they are somewhat perserved\cured. In a pinch, you can easily substitute it with bacon as well but it will not be a complete exact substituted flavour as bacon is more smoky and does not have the sweetness and rice wine flavours. If you can get your hands on Chinese sausage (Lap Cheong), you should definitely give this a try. It will not disappoint 🙂
I have a bit of a guilty pleasure obsession with imitation crab meat (aka surimi). Sure there's no actual crab meat in it, but it tastes so damn good! If you want to be a purist then sure go with real crab meat chunks, but it will definitely not have the same flavour that these pink starchy MSG sticks have. 😛
To make the crispy topping, a combination of panko bread crumbs, deep fried onions and toasted sesame seeds are toasted together with a bit of sesame oil.
Japanese panko bread crumbs are not as finely crushed as normal bread crumbs and give a bit more texture and crunch.
I used deep fried onions\shallots, which I find at Asian grocery stores however, I have also seen French fried onions in containers at my local grocery store as well.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Keep Your Spicy Fingers Away From All Your Precious Body Parts! 😛
I find the easiest way to de-seed and de-vein jalapenos is with a spoon. I've had my fair share of spicy knicks and cuts using a knife - not a very fun experience.
After you slice the jalapenos in half length wise, jab the spoon at the very top near the stem where all the fleshy spongy bits are and scrape down to get started. Once that big piece is out the rest is a breeze to scrape.
If you like a bit of a spicy kick to your cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers, remove the seeds but don't fully scrape out all the white membranes. On the other hand, if you prefer to go the milder route then make sure to remove as much of the white membrane bits as possible.
When you are roasting these little guys, keep an eye on it. Our goal is not not overcook it. We want the peppers to still have a bit of a crunch to it. When the jalapenos are overcooked, it releases water and you end up with a drippy water logged cream cheese stuffed jalapeno. Gross. 12-15 minutes was plenty for me but this is dependent on your stove.
Show Me the Crispies!
We pre-make the crispy bits over the stove top. This gives us a bit more control of how brown and crispy we want it. Top it at the very end when the poppers come out of the oven and the cheese is still soft, so it can stick to it. No deep frying! 🙂
Note to self: No touchie eyes, nose or mouth when working with spicy green stuff ? Heck! Don't even breathe! ?
Crispy Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers (Crab Rangoon Style)
- 1 Chinese sausage (Lap Cheong - can be substituted with 2-3 strips of bacon)
- ½ small onion (or 3-4 shallots)
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 1 cup cheddar (or any type of cheese, mozzarella will give you a bit more gooey-ness)
- 250 g cream cheese (1 box)
- 12 large jalapeno
- 6-8 imitiation crab sticks (approximately 1 cup shredded)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon granulated garlic powder (not garlic salt)
Making the Crispy Topping
- Set the stove to medium heat and add in the sesame oil in a frying pan
- Once the oil is hot, add in the sesame seeds and toast it for about 10-15 seconds
- Add in the panko bread crumbs and fried onions and toast it for a few minutes until they are golden brown (keep the bits moving so the sesame seeds don't burn)
- Once it is brown, remove it from the heat and set it aside for topping the jalapeno poppers at the very end.
Preparing and Stuffing the Jalapenos
- Wash the jalapenos and cut them in half length wise
- Using a spoon, jab into the whites of the jalapeno near the top around the stem and scrape downwards. (I find that is one of the easiest ways to remove all the membranes and seeds without using a knife). Set aside the scraped out jalapenos
- Finely chop the small onion and Chinese sausage and toast it in a frying pan to release the oils and flavours from the sausage and brown the onions. (Approximately 10 minutes)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F (204C)
- In a small bowl, combine the cheeses, soy sauce, maple syrup, toasted onions and Chinese sausage, shredded crab and garlic powder. Mix well
- Stuff the jalapenos with the cheese and crab stuffing and place it on a on a cookie sheet with lined with parchment paper
- Roast the jalapeno popppers in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. If you are using smaller jalapenos, roast it for about 12 minutes. (Our goal is to not overcook the poppers. Over cooked jalapenos will release a lot of water and make a soggy jalapeno poppers. Slightly under done jalapeno poppers keep their bite and crunch)
- Once it is done roasting, top the jalapenos with the crispy toppings immediately while the cheese is still soft
- Enjoy immediately 🙂
- When de-seeding the jalapeno, be careful not to breathe in the spicy fumes around the work area - not pleasant at all.
- For a slightly spicier jalapeno, don't fully scrape out the white membranes from the jalapenos, only remove the seeds. For a less spicier jalapeno, scrape off the seeds and the white membrane completely.
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