Thursday, January 7, 2021

Asian Appetizers paired with Tozai Sake #WinePW

This was such a fun Wine Pairing Weekend Event.  I had only tried Sake once before many, many years ago and hated it but when Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla asked us to share a Sake or Wine Pairing with Chinese food I decided to give it another go.

Asian Appetizers with Sake

I decided to pair my sake with an assortment of Asian Appetizers......

Toasting with Sake

I have mentioned in past posts that this past Holiday Season I had many small gatherings instead of several large gatherings due to the pandemic.  This pairing took place at my second Christmas dinner with my brother, Dick and his wife, Jackie. 

We started the evening off enjoying sushi, chicken egg rolls and crab rangoons.  I will be sharing the crab rangoons recipe with you today but you will have to wait until next month for the egg roll recipe.  The sushi was carry out.

We happily toasted our gathering, it had been way too long since we had been together.   Neither Dick nor Jackie had ever tasted Sake and Frank had only that one same experience I spoke of at the beginning of this post.  We were a little nervous for that first sip, expecting it to taste as harsh and turpentiney as our last bottle.  Turpentiney is a word......adjective describing something that tastes like turpentine smells.


The wine poured a cloudy white, like lowfat milk in color.  You could smell flowers and fruit.  We clinked and sipped.  Hey.....this isn't like turpentine at all.....we took another sip.  Dry but smooth and creamy.  Full bodied and silky.

I had purchased this wine at Costco for under $20.  I didn't know anything about it so when I brought it home I did an internet search and learned that the Tozai Snow Maiden is named after the famous Japanese Koi Fish that lived for 226 years in the icy waters from Mt. Ontake.  Tozai is a 5th generation sake brewery that paired with an American sake brewer and artist who lived in Kyoto. Tozai means East/West.

The pairing with the sushi was nice especially if you added a bit of wasabi to it.  My favorite pairing was the egg rolls however the crab rangoons were very nice as well.  

Crab Rangoons

Using store bought wonton wrappers and canned crab these little bites are easy to make.  I don't know how authentic crab rangoons are in China....but they sell them in American Chinese restaurants so there must be something similar in China.  They are tasty and delicious.  They can be made ahead of time and be frozen for up to six months.  

Crab Rangoons

Once they are made they fry up in a few minutes and are ready to serve. I like to serve mine with sweet and sour sauce.  

Crab Rangoons pin

Please plan on joining us for Twitter chat on Saturday, January 9, at 11 AM ET as we discuss our pairings and thoughts on the Sake and other wines that we paired with Asian food.  You will find us by following #WinePW.  Here is a preview of the topics we will be sharing.......

  • An Affordable and Aromatic Gewürztraminer Paired with Thai Red Curry by Crushed Grape Chronicles
  • Asian Appetizers Paired With Tozai Sake by A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Cashew Chicken With A Crisp Riesling by Our Good Life
  • Ground Pork Stir Fry with Collard Greens by Cooking Chat
  • Knocking off CPK While Sipping SMV Riesling by Exploring the Wine Glass
  • Japanese Sake and Octopus Salad by Avvinare
  • Our Osechi Ryori おせち料理 (Japanese New Year’s Food), Other New Year's Eve Traditions, + Recent Saké Explorations by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
  • Rosé with Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup by The Quirky Cork
  • Steak and Saké Night at the Culinary Cabin by Somm's Table
  • Sushi and Wine? Totally Fine! Here's a Few to Try in 2021 by Wine Predator
  • Tio Pepe Fino Sherry and Sushi/Sashimi: A Match Made in Heaven! by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

  • Appetizers, Asian, Chinese, Crab, Seafood
    Appetizers, Crab, Seafood
    Yield: 6 servings (3 rangoon per serving)
    Author: Wendy Klik
    Crab Rangoon

    Crab Rangoon

    Creamy crab dip wrapped in wonton wrappers and fried to a crispy golden brown.
    Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 3 MinTotal time: 23 Min


    • 1 (5 oz.) can premium crab meat, drained and picked through
    • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
    • dash of garlic powder
    • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
    • 18 wonton wrappers
    • Peanut or Canola oil for frying


    1. Combine the crab, cheese, onion, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. 
    2. Lay out the wonton wrappers and divide the filling placing about 2 teaspoons in the center of each.  Wet the edges of the wonton wrappers with a little bit of water and fold over the filling pressing the edges together to seal creating a triangle.  Wet the three point of the triangle and press together making a little package.
    3. Heat 1 " of oil in a large skillet or wok to a temperature of 325*.  When hot fry the rangoon for 2-3 minutes, flipping so both sides get crispy.  Remove to paper towel to drain.  
    4. Serve with sweet and sour sauce, if desired.



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    1. Oh! I have had that one. Nice!! Thanks for joining me and giving sake another try. And your appetizers look delicious, too.

      1. Thanks Cam, thanks for the topic....I don't think I would have tried it again had you not chosen it.

    2. Love Crab Rangoon. Not a big fan of Sake though.

    3. Love your description of the sake, that doesn't sound at all like the few I've had in the past! That turpentine you mentioned is what I think I've drunk!

      1. I was so glad I tried this again Andrea. You might want to give Sake another look too, if you do please let me know what you think.

    4. I love the story behind the name of this Sake! I will definitely look for this the next time I am at Costco.
      Regardless of whether crab rangoons are authentic or not, they are delicious. I always treat us to those when we order out. I had not thought about making them myself! Thanks Wendy, this could be life-changing!

    5. Your food looks incredible. The color of the saké would make me a bit nervous too. Glad it was a pleasant surprise.

    6. The thought of crab rangoon always brings me back to college in the best way because we used to get them late-night at a local Chinese restaurant--good times. YUM! I'm so glad this last sake experience was much better than your last. It looks like you got an unfiltered sake from the picture and description - they tend to be among my favorites.

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