Crab Rangoon

By: MeganPosted: 29/02/2024 Updated: 29/02/2024
Prep 25 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Crispy, creamy, savory, and addicting crab rangoon made with cream cheese, imitation crab, garlic, scallions, and seasonings are all wrapped together in a thin wonton wrapper and fried to golden perfection.
Crab Rangoon

Everyone’s favorite Chinese takeout appetizer crab rangoon is a crispy, creamy, savory golden brown wonton that is filled with an addicting cream cheese and crab mixture. Nothing tastes better than homemade crab rangoon because you know exactly what goes into the filling and can adjust the seasonings based on your preferences for the best crab rangoon!

Someone dipping a crab rangoon into a dipping bowl of sweet chili.

This easy crab rangoon recipe only requires a handful of ingredients and includes detailed instructions with step-by-step photos and tips for the most foolproof crab wontons. Dip these crispy crab wontons in some sweet Thai chili sauce for the best combo! For more Chinese takeout recipes, check out our chicken and broccoli, hot and sour soup, and beef with black bean sauce.

Looking down at an array of fried crab rangoons.

What is a Crab Rangoon?

Crab rangoon is a popular appetizer in American Chinese cuisine. Crab rangoon is not a traditional Chinese dish and was invented in American Chinese restaurants to appeal to American tastes and incorporate local ingredients. It typically is made with a creamy filling made with cream cheese, crab meat, scallions, and seasonings, all wrapped in a wonton wrapper and then deep-fried until crispy. These crab wontons are most commonly served with a sweet and sour sauce like sweet Thai chili sauce or plum sauce for dipping.

A crab rangoon resting in a dipping bowl of sweet chili sauce.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are several reasons why you will love this crab rangoon recipe, but here are my top three reasons.

  1. Delicious and addicting. Crab rangoon wontons are incredibly delicious with a crispy, satisfying outer shell that gives way to a soft, creamy, rich, and savory filling made with cream cheese and crab.
  2. Versatile: You can serve crab rangoon as a snack, appetizer, or even part of a larger meal. You can also pair it with various dipping sauces for different flavor journeys.
  3. Make ahead: you can prepare these crab rangoon wontons ahead of time, freeze them, and fry them the day you plan on serving them!

Kitchen Equipment

You will need the following kitchen equipment items to make this crab rangoon recipe. I’ve linked everything I used for you below.

  • Mixing bowl: a mixing bowl is needed to mix the crab and cream cheese filling together.
  • Heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer: you can use either a heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer to fry the crab wontons.
  • Candy Thermometer: if you are using a heavy-bottomed pot, you will need a candy thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil.
  • Spider Strainer: you will need a spider strainer or slotted spoon to scoop out the wontons from the hot oil.
  • Wire Rack: use a wire rack to cool off the hot and crispy imitation crab rangoon and for the excess oil to drip off.
  • Fry-Away: I love using fry-away to dispose of the hot oil. Simply drop a few scoops of fry away in the hot oil and it will solidify the oil making it easy to dispose of.

Ingredients

You can find all of the crab rangoon ingredients at your local grocery store or Asian grocery store. I’ve linked everything that I used for this easy crab rangoon recipe below.

  • Wonton wrappers: wonton wrappers are square dumpling wrappers that are about 3×3 inches. I like to use Hong Kong-style wonton wrappers since they are thin and have a delicate texture.
  • Imitation crab meat: imitation crab meat is the most accessible and cost-effective option, but you can easily use real crab meat or canned meat instead.
  • Cream cheese: make sure to use full-fat, brick cream cheese that is at room temperature. Bringing the cream cheese to room temperature allows it to soften and easily mix with the other ingredients.
  • Green Onion: green onions add a fresh aromatic flavor to the filling.
  • Garlic: garlic season the cream cheese for a more aromatic and savory flavor.
  • Soy sauce: soy sauce adds a hint of salty umami flavor to the crab rangoon filling.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce adds a punchy savory, tangy umami flavor.
  • Sugar: a sprinkle of sugar gently sweetens the filling
  • White pepper: white pepper adds a subtle smoky pepper flavor.
  • Neutral Oil: use any neutral oil such as vegetable oil, avocado oil, canola oil, peanut oil, or grapeseed oil with a high smoke point for frying.
All the ingredients for making crab rangoons organized and labeled on a counter.

Substitutions and Additions

You can easily customize this homemade crab rangoon recipe by using any of the following suggestions for substitutions and additions.

Substitutions

  • Shanghai-style wonton wrappers: if you’d like a thicker crunch, opt for a Shanghai-style wrapper instead.
  • Crab meat: if you do not want to use imitation crab meat, you can use fresh crab meat or canned crab meat as well.
  • Tamari, Coconut Aminos, etc. instead of soy sauce, you can use gluten-free tamari, coconut aminos instead, or any other soy sauce substitute instead.
  • Garlic powder: garlic powder is an easy alternative to freshly minced garlic.
  • Black pepper: instead of white pepper, you can easily use black pepper instead.

Additions

  • Herbs and aromatics: for additional flavors, you can add more herbs and aromatics such as cilantro, parsley, ginger, shallots, or onions.
  • Spice: for a spicy crab wonton, go ahead and add spicy chili oil, chili flakes, or sriracha.

How to Make Crab Rangoon

Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to make crab rangoons. Serve it with a side of sweet Thai chili sauce or plum sauce!

  1. Mix the filling. In a large bowl, add the minced crab meat, room-temperature cream cheese, minced green onion, minced garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  1. Fill the wrapper. Place a tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Wet your finger and dab it along the edges of the wonton wrapper.
  1. Pinch together. Place the wonton on your work surface. Take one corner and pinch the opposite corner together. Repeat with the other side, then bring those two points to the center to meet. Pinch them together to create a four-winged shape. Repeat with your remaining wontons.
  1. Option 1: Deep fry. To fry, fill a heavy-bottomed pot with neutral oil, at least 2 inches in depth. Cook over medium-high heat to 350°F (176°C). Using a spider strainer, slowly lower your wontons in batches, about 5 at a time, and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure that the oil maintains a temperature from 350°F-375°F.
  1. Option 2: Air fry. Spray the air fryer basket with oil. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (176°C). Place the crab rangoons in a single layer about 1 inch apart from each other. Spray or brush oil on each of your wontons and air-fry for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Cool and serve. Remove your wontons and drain them on a wire rack. Repeat with your remaining crab rangoons. Serve with sweet chili sauce. Enjoy!
Several crab rangoons on parchment paper with a dipping bowl of sweet chili sauce.

Tips for the Best Crab Rangoon

  • Room temperature cream cheese. Leave your cream cheese out on your workspace for at least 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature. This will soften the cream cheese and make it easier to mix.
  • Don’t overfill: be mindful to not overfill your crab wontons. This will make it difficult to seal the edges and cause them to burst during frying.
  • Properly seal: make sure to press the edges of the wontons together firmly and seal the edges with water to prevent the crab and cheese wontons from exploding.
  • Maintain oil temperature: make sure to use a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature and adjust the heat as needed to keep it between 350°F to 375°F (175°C to 190°C). If it is too low, then the crab rangoons will be greasy. If it is too high, the crab rangoons may burn.
  • Fry in batches: do not overcrowd the frying oil with too many crab rangoon wontons. Fry them in small batches allowing them ample space to fry evenly.
  • Cool and Drain on a wire rack: after you fry the homemade crab rangoon, let them cool and drain on a wire rack to let the excess oil drip off.

Storage Instructions

Homemade crab rangoon is best served immediately for the best taste and texture. You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheat: pop them in the air fryer at 350°F and heat them until warm and crispy.

Freeze: if you’d like to make this crab rangoon recipe in advance, you can easily freeze them before frying it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To cook, fry them directly from the freezer for a few minutes longer. You do not need to defrost them first.

Frequently Asked Q’s and A’s

Can I air fry crab rangoon?

Yes! If you do not want to deep-fry the crab rangoons, you can easily brush them with oil and fry them in the air fryer until crispy!

Can you freeze crab rangoon?

Yes! You can easily make this crab rangoon recipe and freeze them before frying for up to 3 months. To cook, simply fry them straight from the freezer.

What are common dipping sauces for crab rangoon?

You can serve crab rangoons with a sweet Thai chili sauce, plum sauce, a spicy chili dipping sauce, or a garlic soy sauce dipping sauce you use for dumplings!

Is crab rangoon authentic Chinese cuisine?

No, crab rangoon derives from American Chinese cuisine. Cream cheese is not an accessible or popular ingredient that is normally found in China.

Additional Chinese Takeout Recipes to Try

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A plate of crab rangoons with a small bowl of sweet chili sauce.

Crab Rangoon

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Crispy, creamy, savory, and addicting crab rangoon made with cream cheese, imitation crab, garlic, scallions, and seasonings are all wrapped together in a thin wonton wrapper and fried to golden perfection.
Servings: 20 rangoon
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 20 wonton wrappers
  • 5 oz Imitation crab meat finely minced
  • 8 oz block cream cheese full-fat room temperature
  • 1 stalk green onion minced
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3-4 cups neutral oil for deep frying

Instructions

  • Mix the filling. In a large bowl, add the minced crab meat, room-temperature cream cheese, minced green onion, minced garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Fill the wrapper. Place a tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Wet your finger and dab it along the edges of the wonton wrapper.
  • Pinch together. Place the wonton on your work surface. Take one corner and pinch the opposite corner together. Repeat with the other side, then bring those two points to the center to meet. Pinch them together to create a four-winged shape. Repeat with your remaining wontons.
  • Deep fry. (Option 1) To fry, fill a heavy-bottomed pot with neutral oil, at least 2 inches in depth. Cook over medium-high heat to 350°F (176°C). Using a spider strainer, slowly lower your wontons in batches, about 5 at a time, and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure that the oil maintains a temperature from 350°F-375°F.
  • Air fry. (Option 2) Spray the air fryer basket with oil. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (176°C). Place the crab rangoons in a single layer about 1 inch apart from each other. Spray or brush oil on each of your wontons and air-fry for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Cool and serve. Remove your wontons and drain them on a wire rack. Repeat with your remaining crab rangoons. Serve with sweet chili sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Room temperature cream cheese. Leave your cream cheese out on your workspace for at least 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature. This will soften the cream cheese and make it easier to mix.
  • Don’t overfill: be mindful to not overfill your crab wontons. This will make it difficult to seal the edges and cause them to burst during frying.
  • Properly seal: make sure to press the edges of the wontons together firmly and seal the edges with water to prevent the crab and cheese wontons from exploding.
  • Maintain oil temperature: make sure to use a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature and adjust the heat as needed to keep it between 350°F and 375°F (175°C to 190°C).
  • Fry in batches: do not overcrowd the frying oil with too many crab rangoon wontons. Fry them in small batches allowing them ample space to fry evenly.
  • Cool and Drain on a wire rack: after you fry the homemade crab rangoon, let them cool and drain on a wire rack to let the excess oil drip off.

Nutrition:

Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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