Gingered Crab Filo Parcels

These Chinese-style, triangular parcels of crisp, light filo pastry enclose a ginger-flavored filling of crabmeat, water chestnuts and corn. Prepare

These Chinese-style, triangular parcels of crisp, light filo pastry enclose a ginger-flavored filling of crabmeat, water chestnuts and corn. Prepare them ahead for a party, then bake just before serving with a sweet chile dipping sauce.

Preparation time 50 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes

Makes 18

1 can white crabmeat (about 170 g), drained
1 can sliced water chestnuts (about 230 g), drained and coarsely chopped
1 can (310 g) corn kernels, drained
4 spring onions, chopped, green parts reserved
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
6 sheets filo pastry (about 45 × 30 cm each)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Sweet chile sauce to serve.

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine the crabmeat, water chestnuts, corn, spring onions, ginger, chile and Chinese rice wine in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together the canola and sesame oils in a cup.

2. Stack the filo sheets on top of one another and roll up the sheets loosely, rolling from a short side. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll across evenly into three pieces. Cover two of these shorter rolls with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Unravel the third roll, remove one of the strips and set the rest aside, covered.

3. Lay the strip of filo flat on the work surface, with a short end nearest to you, and brush with a little of the oil mixture. Place a heaped teaspoon of the crab mixture near the bottom, towards the right-hand corner of the short end, and fold the pastry diagonally over it. Continue folding diagonally, over and over, until you reach the end of the strip, making a neat triangular parcel. Place on a baking tray, seam-side down.

4. Repeat with remaining strips of filo, uncovering them only when needed, until all of the crab mixture is used.

5. Lightly brush the tops of the parcels with any remaining oil mixture and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake for 12–13 minutes or until crisp and golden.

6. Transfer the parcels to a wire rack and cool slightly. Meanwhile, shred the green tops of the spring onions for garnishing, to form ‘brushes’. Serve the parcels warm, on a tray garnished with the spring onion brushes and a small dish of sweet chile sauce.

Some more ideas…
Prawn filo parcels: Use 4 ounces chopped cooked peeled prawns in place of the crab. Replace half of the water chestnuts with canned sliced bamboo shoots.

The parcels can be prepared in advance; cover the baking trays with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. The baking time may need to be increased by 2–3 minutes if the parcels are very cold.

Health points
Using filo for these parcels keeps the fat content low. This is because only a light brushing of oil is needed to stick the pastry edges together and to give a golden sheen and crisp texture. By baking the parcels rather than frying, these are even healthier.

Ginger is believed to aid digestion and help to stimulate the circulation. It is also used as an antiseptic; to help to relieve the symptoms of colds; as well as to help relieve morning and travel sickness.

Each parcel provides
Key nutrients: 81 calories, 2 g protein, 5 g fat (of which 1 g is saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrate (of which 2 g are sugars), 1 g fiber, 177 mg sodium. GI estimate not able to be calculated because the carbohydrate content is minimal.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest