How to make a Crab Rangoon Recipe just like takeout! Chinese Crab Rangoons are stuffed with cream cheese, crab meat, and scallions! These Wonton pockets go best with duck sauce or sweet and sour dipping sauce and the secret to those buffet Rangoons is to make a sweet crab Rangoon recipe using powdered sugar! This fried appetizer is addicting! Dip in soy sauce for a savory Rangoon.
Rangoons are a widespread appetizer in American-Chinese Restaurants, and there is likely a Crab Rangoon near me being sold to order. The filling is tasty enough for a dip or pizza but Wonton wrappers are how they are traditionally seen at Restaurants. This kind of fried food is the best! For more delicious Restaurant Copycats try this Uno’s Creamy Shrimp Dip or Chinese Egg Rolls!
What Is Crab Rangoon?
Crab Rangoon is a crispy cheese-filled dumpling made from wonton wrappers (thin sheets of wheat dough.) These cheese wontons are traditionally served in American-Chinese Restaurants are commonly filled with cream cheese, imitation crab meat, scallions, and sugar. Each wonton is then hand wrapped and shaped by gathering the edges to form a triangle, four-pointed star, flower, or purse shape.
You do not want to be counting crab Rangoon calories when deep-fried. However, you can easily make air-fryer crab Rangoons to cut the calories from all the oil. The home baker can make homemade crab Rangoons that can be baked and not only crab-stuffed but filled with shrimp and ingredients of choice.
Have a hard time finding wonton wrappers? Use egg roll wrappers and find the dipping sauce in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets! Sometimes you’ll find frozen crab Rangoons in the freezer section, but it’s so easy to make and roll these sweet wontons at home!
Matter of fact, foodservice suppliers sell already fried and frozen crab Rangoons for Restaurant owners to reheat per order, so Crab Rangoons can easily be prepared, lightly fried, and frozen for later!
Crab Rangoon Recipe
Whether you’ve had savory (meat) or sweet (cheese) Rangoons, it’s the delicious seafood Rangoon Appetizer that is the popular takeout food similar to egg rolls.
The ones I used to eat at Chinese buffets or local Chinese takeouts 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. Takeout Crab Rangoons are slightly sweet and mostly creamy with specks of imitation crab meat. You will hardly detect the scallions because chefs usually slice the white end parts for the filling.
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?
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!
In Chinese, a Crab Rangoon literally means fried crab horn. Crab Rangoons are cheese wontons (crab puffs) that are fried to crisp dumplings by using wonton wrappers. 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.
Chinese Crab Rangoon ingredients differ from the Panda Express Rangoons because Panda Express makes a plain cream cheese Rangoon and Chinese Restaurants mix in crab meat to the cheese filling. What’s in a Crab Rangoon is simple yet so delicious!
Crab Rangoon Ingredients:
- Wonton Wraps- square wonton wrappers (3 ½ x 3 ½-inches) can be found in the fridge section of most grocery stores or freezer aisle. Make Vegan Crab Rangoons by buying the Vegan wrappers and omitting the crab meat.
- Cream Cheese- Rangoons can hold a whooping tablespoon of filling so don’t be fooled by the small squares! Use 2 packages of softened cream cheese to fill a 12 oz package of wrappers!
- Crabmeat- some use chopped lump crab meat for more nutrition to these seafood appetizers, however, Chinese Restaurants use imitation crab (much cheaper too!)
- Scallions- use the white ends of a scallion sprig for the most flavor, plus it will seamlessly blend into the cream cheese.
- Sugar- powdered sugar will thicken the filling and add the best-sweetened flavor, which makes these addictive!
- Oil- for deep-frying (soybean oil for authentic Chinese flavor) or sunflower oil (for a healthier option.)
How To Make a Crab Rangoon?
A fried Crab Rangoon is easy to make and requires simple filling ingredients. Serve with a sweet and sour dipping sauce (similar to duck sauce) for the best eating experience!
- Wet the edges with water by running a wet finger along the border of the dough sheet (wrapper).
- Fill with a heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese filling, right onto the middle.
- Wrap the Rangoon by folding the opposite edges together to form a triangle. Then, pinch the bottom sealed edges together to form a wonton shape.
- Fry the Rangoons over low-medium heat for even browning. Don’t overcrowd the pot (4-5 Rangoons at most.)
- Using a slotted spoon transfer the Rangoons to a wire baking rack or onto paper towels. Cool completely before eating.
- Dip into Duck sauce or sweet and sour sauce.
Chef’s Tip: Freeze, uncooked Crab Rangoons before frying for perfectly shaped Crab Rangoons that don’t bend into odd shapes before hitting the oil!
What Temperature To Cook?
Fry the Rangoons at a low temperature of 325°F. Once you add the filled Rangoons the temp should drop even lower. Avoid anything at a smoking point, otherwise, the Wontons can brown rapidly and be undercooked inside.
Crab Rangoon Dipping Sauces?
Crab Rangoon sauce is sweet and sour making these wraps irresistibly delicious! 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
Crab Rangoon Dip (Sauce) Recipe:
Duck sauce can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores nowadays. If you can’t 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!
How to Make Duck Sauce:
- 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 Crab Rangoons, like shortening or odorless ones for the best results.
4 Different Ways to Fold Wonton Wrappers:
There are 4 ways to fold Crab Rangoons:
- triangle fold (classic)- brush the edges of your wonton wrapper with water and fold diagonally in half to form a triangle.
- Wonton Shape- (also known as the boat fold) make Rangoons into a triangular shape and fold the bottom two edges together to make a wonton shape.
- purse fold- bring the opposite edges together to create a purse shape and press corners together.
- star fold- pinch the corners together to form a four-cornered star as seen in this tutorial.
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.
Can You Freeze Crab Rangoons?
You can freeze uncooked Crab Rangoons before frying or for longer storage. Most food suppliers will par-fry the appetizers for Restaurants to later finish cooking them in hot oil.
To Freeze Uncooked Crab Rangoons: Lay onto a single layer over a lined tray or baking sheet. Keep from touching. Flash freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 6 months. This makes a great make-ahead option for the busy cook!
Reheating Instructions: deep-fry until golden and done.
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.
Troubleshooting Crab Rangoons:
To troubleshoot your Rangoon experience, here are some helpful tips for successful results.
- Remove air- from wontons when folding to prevent any 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.)
- Fry over low heat to prevent burned Rangoons and from the filling oozing out too quickly.
- Make sure you seal all the edges tightly before adding to the hot oil.
- Wet the edges 4 at a time to prevent the dough from getting too soggy to pinch and seal. If the dough gets too soft from theater it won’t seal.
- Keep the dough sheets covered when making, otherwise they can dry out and not seal properly.
Can I Bake Crab Rangoons?
Yes! Check out these Crispy Baked Crab Rangoons! Or spray each filled Rangoon generously with cooking spray before baking at 375°F for 20 minutes.
How much Wonton Wraps are in a 12 oz Package?
A 12 oz package of wonton wraps holds approximately 48 square wonton wrappers (3 ½ x 3 ½-inches).
- 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 Sauce for Sushi (Restaurants Copycat)
Tools Used To Make This Crab Rangoon Recipe:
- Foam Skimmer– to remove the fried Rangoons.
- Cast-Iron Wok– to deep fry the dough or use a dutch oven pot.
- Dipping Bowls– for your favorite dipping sauce.
- Wooden Chopsticks– to eat Crab Rangoons.
- Hand Mixer– to blend the seafood cream cheese filling.
How To Make Crab Rangoons:
Crab Rangoon Recipe
- electric mixer
- mixing bowl
- Dutch Oven 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)
- 2 sprigs scallions (white ends, sliced)
How To Make Crab Rangoons:
- In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, scallions, 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.