Crab rangoons are deep-fried wontons stuffed with cream cheese and crab meat filling, and are apparently classified as Chinese cuisine. But I’ve to admit that I’ve never heard of them until recently. I found out that these crab rangoons are actually an American invention and are commonly sold in Chinese restaurants in America. No wonder I’ve never seen these around in Singapore before! I don’t think I would have ever thought of adding cream cheese to deep-fried wontons until coming across this dish. After trying it for myself, though, I have to say that they are so good! Even better than the conventional pork-stuffed wontons. In many American-Chinese restaurants, the crab rangoons are made using imitation crab meat to keep the cost low. But I used real crab meat as it will impart a natural sweetness that imitation crab meat cannot provide. Disclaimer: This is not a cheap snack to make if using real crab meat!
While crab rangoons are a relatively easy dish to make, there are some things to take note of to ensure they come out successful:
1) Use the yellow wonton wrapper (with alkaline added) instead of the white wonton wrapper (without alkaline added). I tried both and the crab rangoons wrapped with the yellow wonton wrappers boasted a more beautiful golden brown colour in comparison.
2) Ensure your crab meat and cream cheese filling is not too wet. During the deep frying process, the water in the filling can turn into steam and cause the wonton to puff up and even burst, causing the filling to ooze out, leaving only an empty shell. With that being said, it is normal for the wonton to puff up a little while deep frying since the filling still contains more liquid than the usual minced pork filling, but it shouldn’t cause the wonton to explode.
3) Seal the wonton well. You can use plain water or even egg for a better seal. This will help to prevent the fillings from spilling out while deep frying.
4) Ensure the oil is at the correct temperature (around 180°C) during deep frying. If the oil is too cold, the wonton will end up absorbing a lot of oil and turn soggy instead. If the oil is too hot, the wonton may become burnt, or may even explode.
I used Laughing Cow cheese for this recipe, but you can also use the Philadelphia cream cheese. I felt that the Laughing Cow cheese went very well with the crab meat, and didn’t overpower the crab meat flavour.
These are the four basic ingredients you’ll need – cream cheese, crab meat, spring onion and garlic. You can add salt if you prefer, but I felt that the cheese was salty enough so I did not add any salt. I would highly suggest using real crab meat, but you can also opt for imitation crab meat if you want a cheaper alternative.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Try to ensure that your filling is not too wet, otherwise your wonton wrapper may burst while deep frying.
Moisten the four edges of the wonton wrapper using some water (or egg for a better seal), then add a teaspoonful of cheese and crab meat filling (or however much you can add, but don’t overdo it) in the center of the wrapper.
Bring all four corners of the wrapper into the center, and seal the wrapper tightly. Try not to leave too much air in the wonton itself. You can also shape the wonton into any other shapes you prefer. I did an ingot shape as shown below.
This is the traditional crab rangoon shape.
This is the ingot shape which I tried as well.
Heat a pot of oil till hot, around 180°C. Deep fry the crab rangoons in batches, until crispy and golden brown. Remove and drain away excess oil on paper towels. Serve with chilli sauce if preferred.
Super yummy crab rangoons with crispy, golden brown exterios and juicy, creamy interiors! The slight salty notes of the cream cheese complement the natural sweetness of the crab meat, and the oiliness of the wanton is curtailed by the creamy filling. It’s really something worth trying!
DIY: ~$7 for 20 crab rangoons
Dine out: ~6USD for 6 crab rangoons (in America)
Crab Rangoon (Crab & Cream Cheese Wonton)
- 15-20 wonton wrappers $0.75
- 120 g Laughing Cow cream cheese $3.65
- 90 g crab meat $2.385
- 1 clove garlic minced ($0.028)
- 2 stalks spring onion chopped ($0.20)
- pinch of salt optional
- Mix cream cheese, crab meat, garlic, spring onion and salt (optional) together in a bowl. Ensure that the mixture is not overly wet otherwise it may cause the wonton wrapper to burst while deep frying.
- Moisten the four edges of each wonton wrapper with water or egg, then add a teaspoonful of cream cheese and crab meat filling in the center of the wonton wrapper. Bring all four corners of the wrapper to the center, then seal the wrapper tightly. You can fold the wonton wrapper into any shape you prefer.
- Heat a pot of oil till hot, around 180°C. Deep fry the crab rangoons in batches, until crispy and golden brown. Remove and drain away excess oil on paper towels. Serve with chilli sauce if preferred.