Stuffed with cream cheese and real crab meat, these crispy crab rangoons are even better than takeout. Serve them with a tangy homemade sweet and sour sauce.
If you’re a fan of the popular Chinese restaurant appetizer, you must try this homemade crab rangoon recipe.
The version is even better than takeout. Each crispy, fried crab rangoon is stuffed with cream cheese and real crab meat — every bite bursting with flavor. I like to serve crab rangoons with with this tangy Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce.
We are a little bit wonton-obsessed around here. You have to try my pork fried wontons and these delicious cream cheese wontons and cream cheese pepper jelly wonton cups.
Looking for more dumpling and wonton recipes? Here are 100+ different ways to use wonton wrappers.
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- What are Crab Rangoons
- ❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients for Crab Rangoons
- 🥟 How to Make Crab Rangoons
- How to Fold Crab Rangoons
- How to Fry Crab Rangoons
- Air Fryer Crab Rangoons
- 📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Storage & Reheating Instructions
- How to Freeze
- More Chinese Restaurant Recipes
- 🎥 Recipe Card & Video
- Homemade Crab Rangoons
What are Crab Rangoons
Crab rangoons are a staple on the menus of American Chinese restaurants. The crispy dumplings are made by filling wonton wrappers with a mixture of crab meat, cream cheese, seasonings and sometimes powdered sugar.
The crab puffs are quickly deep fried and served hot, generally with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
A lot of restaurants and crab rangoon recipes use imitation crab, which is made from surimi, a paste of shredded or pulverized fish.
I’m not a fan of the flavor of the fake crab, so my recipe uses real lump crab meat. While many takeout places use the fake stuff, many of the better dine-in Chinese restaurants use real crab in their crab rangoons. You can definitely taste the difference.
Want to see a brief overview of the process before diving into the recipe? Watch my web story on how to make crab rangoons.
Ingredients for Crab Rangoons
- Cream cheese – for the creamiest flavor, use regular cream cheese, not reduced fat
- Crab meat – I used canned crab meat, but you can also use fresh steamed crab.
- Green onions – use a mix of the green and white parts of the onion
- soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- Wonton wrappers – look for square wonton wrappers in produce section of your grocery store. They’re often near the tofu, egg roll wrappers and other Asian foods.
- Vegetable oil or peanut oil
See recipe card for exact quantities.
🥟 How to Make Crab Rangoons
If you’re using canned crab meat, drain well.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, crab meat, salt, green onions, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and garlic.
If you’re serving these with sweet and sour sauce, there’s no need to add the powdered sugar. But if you’re serving with another more savory sauce, like this wonton dipping sauce, I recommend adding a tablespoon of powdered sugar for a touch of sweetness.
Mix the filling until well combined.
Fill each wonton wrapper with a small amount of the crab and cream cheese mixture, then fold into pouches.
Deep fry crab rangoons in small batches, for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp and golden.
Hint: Be careful not to ovrfill the crab rangoons. A teaspoon or just a bit more of filling is all you need. When folding the crab rangoons, squeeze out any air and seal well.
How to Fold Crab Rangoons
There are a couple of different ways you can fold crab rangoons.
The simplest way to is fold them in half, in triangles. This is called a samosa fold.
But I like to use a pouch or star fold for crab rangoons.
I use a large plastic cutting board as a folding surface. I also keep a small glass of water nearby so I can moisten the edges of the wonton wrappers before folding them.
Be sure to keep the stack of wonton wrappers wrapped in a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out.
- Begin by placing a teaspoon of the crab mixture in the center of each wonton wrapper.
- Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edge of the wrapper. Bring two opposite points of the wrapper together to form a triangle, then bring the other two points to meet in the center.
- Press out any air and seal well to prevent the filing from escaping when frying. (Watch the video in the recipe card to see the folding technique in action.)
You can also bring the edges of the wonton wrapper together and twist to enclose the filling. Here are a few other wonton folding methods you may want to try.
How to Fry Crab Rangoons
- Fill a large deep pan or cast iron dutch oven halfway with oil.
- Heat oil over medium heat to 350 ℉. Fry the crab rangoons in small batches until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes each.
- Use stainless steel tongs or a spider strainer to remove the hot fried appetizers from the oil and drain on paper towels.
- Serve warm with your favorite sauce.
Air Fryer Crab Rangoons
I think crab rangoons are best when they’re fried in oil. But they can be made in the air fryer if you don’t want to deep fry them. Doing so may affect the texture or crispiness.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 ℉.
- Spray rangoons with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil on both sides.
- Place crab dumplings in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Be careful not to overcrowd them.
- Air fry for 5 minutes, then flip the crab rangoons and cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Air fry in batches. Continue until all crab rangoons are cooked.
Cooking times may vary depending on the type of air fryer you have. I use a 5-in-1 Ninja Foodi Grill. There are so many recipes you can make in it.
You may find this printable air fryer cooking times chart helpful.
📖 Variations & Substitutions
This recipe is pretty adaptable. You can change up the filling by substituting or omiting certain ingredients.
- Shrimp Rangoons – Substitute chopped cocktail shrimp for the crab meat.
- Lobster Rangoons – Substitute steamed lobster for the crab meat.
- Go light on the crab – If you prefer just a hint of seafood flavor, you can reduce the amount of crab meat used in this recipe to 4 or 6 ounces.
- Fake crab – For a more subtle flavor, use imitation crab meat.
- Vegetarian – Omit the crab meat all together and the Worcestershire sauce or just try my recipe for cream cheese wontons.
Storage & Reheating Instructions
Store leftover crab rangoons in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat leftovers in an air fryer at 325 ℉ until crisp and heated through. You can also reheat them in the for 5 minutes at 350 ℉.
How to Freeze
This appetizer can be frozen and enjoyed later. You can either freeze the crab rangoons before or after frying them.
To Freeze Before Frying
- Spread the crab rangoons in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Make sure they’re not touching one another.
- Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours before transferring the crab puffs to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container.
- When you’re ready to serve, fry the crab rangoons from frozen.
To Freeze After Frying
- Spread fried crab rangoons in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Freeze for several hours before transferring to a freezer-safe bag .
- Reheat the frozen crab rangoons in the oven or in an air fryer at 300 ℉ for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. Do not thaw.
More Chinese Restaurant Recipes
If you like Chinese takeout, you’ll love these make-at-home-verisions of popular appetizers and sauces.
- Cream Cheese Wontons
- Pork Fried Wontons
- Quick & Easy Cold Sesame Noodles
- Homemade Chinese Appetizers
- Chinese Hot Mustard
- Dumpling & Wonton Dipping Sauce
Pin This! Homemade Crab Rangoon Recipe
🎥 Recipe Card & Video
Homemade Crab Rangoons
- 1 Dutch oven or soup pot
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 8 ounces crab meat drained
- pinch salt
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove garlic minced or pressed
- 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)
- 50 wonton wrappers
- 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
- Combine the cream cheese, green onions, salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and powdered sugar (if using) in a bowl. Mix until creamy and well blended.
- Place 1 teaspoon of crab and cream cheese mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper.
- Moisten the edge of the wrapper. Bring two opposite points of the wrapper together to form a triangle, then bring the other two points to meet in the center.
- Press out any air and seal well to prevent the filing from escaping when frying.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. When oil is 350° F, almost bubbling, add crab rangoons in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan.
- Fry in small batches until golden brown on all sides, Remove from the oil using a strainer or tongs. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Serve appetizers warm with homemade sweet and sour sauce.
- Serve as an appetizer with homemade sweet and sour sauce.
- Use vegetable oil, canola oil or peanut oil for frying crab rangoons.
Where to find wonton wrappersLook for wonton wrappers in the produce section of the grocery store, near the tofu, egg roll wrappers and fresh packaged herbs.
StorageStore leftover crab rangoons in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
ReheatingReheat leftovers in an air fryer at 325 ℉ until crisp or in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 ℉.
Air Fryer Cooking Method
- Fill crab rangoons as outlined above.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 ℉.
- Spray filled crab puffs with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil on both sides.
- Place in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Don’t crowd.
- Air fry for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
How to FreezeCan be frozen before frying or afterwards.
- Place filled crab rangoons in a single layer on a lined baking sheet.
- Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours before transferring to a freezer-safe bag.
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