How to make traditionally sweet filled Crab Rangoons just like takeout! Skip the fast-food Restaurant and make these creamy crab dip pockets with cream cheese and imitation crab meat! This Crab Rangoon recipe is like the triangle pockets from American-Chinese Restaurants. Dip in a sweet and sour duck sauce and enjoy these deep-fried appetizers!
Restaurant food is the best! From deep-fried appetizers to amazing sauces and delicious menu finds, there are the foods good enough to replicate and make at home. Crab Rangoons are one of them. Try some of our other Restaurant copycats, like Uno’s Creamy Shrimp Dip or Southwest Egg Rolls that were a random creation!
Crab Rangoon Recipe
Whether you’ve had savory or sweet-filled Rangoons it’s the delicious sweet-filled wontons that are the popular takeout item related to the egg rolls. The ones I ate at a Chinese buffet or local Chinese food takeout Restaurant were triangular deep-fried wontons. Apparently today there are 4 ways to fold them; the triangle fold (classic), the boat fold (wonton shape), purse fold, and star fold. If you ask me how I would fold a wonton wrapper it would be the traditional fold and maybe combining two ends to make an envelope shape (aka curled wonton shape.) Why? Because the filling stays in. Besides, it’s how I remember the cheese-filled wontons.
Furthermore, you can’t really detect the crab meat in a traditional crab rangoon or soy sauce for that matter. Meaning they use bare minimal imitation crab meat and probably omit the salty soy sauce. Takeout crab rangoons are slightly sweet and mostly creamy with specks of imitation crab meat. So my crab dip filling is literally 3 ingredients but yet so on point.
People have baked crab rangoons and some even toss them through an air fryer, but you got to deep-fry the stuffed wontons to get the air bubbly crispy crust known for ordering out. Soybean oil to be exact. Want to know how to make crab rangoons with pictures? Read more further down and go to my Q&A section for commonly asked questions about these appetizers! Let’s make these crab cheese wontons!
What is Crab Rangoon?
Crab Rangoons are cheese-filled wontons (crab puffs) that are fried to crisp dumplings. This appetizer is folded in different ways throughout American-Chinese Restaurants then deep-fried in hot oil and typically served with a dipping sauce known as duck sauce.
To make these at home you will need wonton wrappers (small square dough sheets sold at the fridge section of most grocery stores), cream cheese, imitation crab meat (leg-style), sugar, and oil for deep frying. Water is another essential element as it works to seal the edges, once filled.
Cream cheese wontons is an American-Chinese appetizer best suited to Asian Condiments. Here are popular choices:
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Duck Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Hot Mustard Sauce
- Soy Sauce
How to make Duck Sauce:
Duck sauce can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores nowadays. If you cant locate it sweet and chili sauce is similar with a little extra heat. And if you’re stuck at home you can make your own from an apricot jam!
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Sir together and serve with cream cheese wontons.
What oil to use for deep-fried Wontons?
Soybean is probably the most commonly used oil throughout Chinese Restaurants (it’s one of the cheapest when you buy in bulk!) Similar oils are canola oil, vegetable oil, and peanut oil. Choose mild oils for deep-frying, like shortening or odorless ones for the best results.
Different ways to fold Wonton Wrappers?
There are 4 ways to fold cream cheese filled wonton wrappers;
- the triangle fold (classic),
- the boat fold (wonton shape),
- purse fold
- star fold.
My favorite way is the first two as they hold the filling well.
How To Seal Wonton Wrappers?
Some moisten the edges of a wonton wrapper with a little egg wash but I find plain water to seal great! However, there is a rule to go by. Only work with a few wonton wrappers at a time. Once you wet the edges they need to be sealed immediately, otherwise, the wrappers will get soggy and by the time you come back to seal them, they don’t stick anymore. (Lesson learned.)
Working with a few wonton wrappers at a time will help seal the edges before the liquid seeps into the dough sheets. If you wait too long the dough softens and then doesn’t want to stick together. So work with 3-4 wrappers at a time and keep the other stack covered to prevent from drying out.
Can I use Puff Pastry?
American puff pastry is too thick for crab rangoons. Asian dough sheets are way thinner allowing the dumpling to puff up so slightly. Specifically, look for “Wonton Wrappers” when making Crab Rangoons.
Can I use Lump Crab Meat?
Since you only need 2 oz of imitation crab meat for this recipe (2 leg-style crab sticks), I do not encourage you to open a whole can of lump crab meat or buy expensive sea crab. It’s not the stuff used in the American-Chinese fast food Restaurants so it won’t be the same taste either.
How to Freeze Crab Rangoons?
How To Freeze Uncooked Crab Rangoons: Lay onto a single layer over a large tray or baking sheet. Keep from touching. Flash freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 6 months.
To reheat leftovers: bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 7-8 minutes until crisp.
Things you’ll Need:
- Electric mixer or really good whisk.
- Teaspoon for scooping the filling into wrappers.
- Pot, Wok, or deep Skillet for deep-frying.
What is a Crab Rangoon dip?
The Cheesy Crab Dip is inspired by the well-known takeout appetizer known as Crab Rangoons. Only it’s not deep-fried but baked in a dish and served with chips (or fried wonton chips!) A crab Rangoon dip can include additional ingredients like green onions, sour cream, soy sauce, lump crab meat, and spices.
How to prevent Crab Rangoons from tearing open when frying?
To troubleshoot your Rangoon experience, here are some helpful tips for successful results.
- Remove air- from wontons when folding to prevent air pockets. Otherwise, they can burst when frying and you’ll end up with brown cheese bits floating in your oil. (Quick tip- remove those bits with a slotted spoon after each batch if necessary.)
Another helpful tip in making this appetizer is to fry at a medium temperature of 350°F to prevent burned Rangoons.
Can I Bake Crab Rangoons?
Yes! Check out these Crispy Baked Crab Rangoons! Or spray each filled Wonton generously with cooking spray before baking (can brush oil over the tops too.)
How much Wonton Wraps are in a 12 oz Package?
A 12 oz package of wonton wraps holds approximately 48 square dough sheets.
- Work with a few wonton wrappers at a time. Once you wet the edges they need to be sealed immediately, otherwise, the wrappers will get soggy and by the time you come back to seal them, they don’t stick anymore. (Lesson learned.)
- Place a heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese filling right in the center to seal without having the filling gush out.
- Dip into an Asian sweet and sour sauce also known as Duck sauce. You can make your own with apricot jam.
- Dry fried wontons on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Fill the wrappers with filling until all is gone, only seal a few a time to make filling a breeze.
More Chinese Inspired Recipes:
- Chinese Chicken Fingers
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
- Fried Rice Recipe
- Spicy Mayo for Sushi (Restaurants Copycat)
How To Make Crab Rangoons:
Crab Rangoon Recipe
- electric mixer
- mixing bowl
- pot or wok
- 16 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 oz imitation crab (2 leg-style sticks, diced)
- 12 oz wonton wraps (one whole pack)
- 2 cups oil for frying (soybean, canola, or vegetable)
How To Make Crab Rangoons:
- In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, and imitation crab until creamy. Preheat the oil over medium heat (10 minutes.)
- Meanwhile, fill the wonton wrappers with 1 heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the center of each wrap. Then run your finger with water around the edges (working with 4 at a time*.)
- Fold the wonton in half (or pick up the corners*) and press corners together. Seal until all wontons are finished.
- Fry 4-6 crab rangoons in oil until nicely browned and cooked thoroughly (3-5 min per batch.)
- Once the edges are wet* you need to seal them! If you leave the edges wet and come back to them later they'll get soggy and won't seal together which is why it's best to work with a few at a time. However, each wonton can be filled beforehand.
- To prevent burned wontons- fry crab rangoons at a med-low temperature. If they're browning too fast the oil is too hot.
- Picking up the corners- prevents the filling from gushing out.