Crab Rangoon

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see our affiliate policy.

Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, Crab Rangoon are a takeout classic. Baked or fried, they are easy and delicious! My secret ingredient? A classic Midwest condiment that makes the perfect dipping sauce for Crab Rangoon.

A plate of Crab Rangoons.

Crab Rangoon is just fussy enough that I might prefer to order it from a restaurant, but the problem with that is the value. I never get enough Crab Rangoon for the high price I pay, so I usually don’t end up ordering them at all.

That’s why Crab Rangoon is an ideal appetizer to make yourself. The work you put in is worth it because of how many you can make: enough to feed your friends and family (or yourself!) for a reasonable price.

If you’re looking to cut costs further, just leave out the crab. Cream Cheese Wontons are a thing, a very good thing.

As for my preferred dipping sauce, in the Midwest we have a classic appetizer which involves pouring a jar of pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese, and then we eat it with crackers. So I was eager to try this cream-cheese-based appetizer with pepper jelly, and guess what? It’s fabulous. Sweet Thai Chili Sauce or my favorite Asian dipping sauce are great, too.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for crab rangoon.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Cream cheese: I like whipped cream cheese because the light, airy texture is easy to mix with other ingredients. Regular cream cheese, softened to room temperature, works just fine.
  • Crab meat: Look for canned lump white crab meat and drain it before you use it. You can also substitute imitation crab or leave it out entirely.
  • Egg: An egg wash helps seal the wonton wrappers together.
  • Wonton wrappers: Look for square wonton wrappers made with wheat (not rice) that measure about 3 1/2” square. They are often sold in the produce section (refrigerated). Each package will probably have a LOT of wrappers, so you can wrap up what you don’t need and freeze them for another Crab Rangoon evening (and there will be.)
  • Red pepper jelly: This sweet-and-spicy condiment cuts through the richness of the cream cheese perfectly. The easiest thing is to buy it, but you can also make pepper jelly yourself.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, crab meat, mayonnaise, and green onions. To make egg wash, in a small bowl whisk together egg and water. Working in batches, arrange 5 – 10 wonton wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Brush all 4 edges of each wrapper with the egg wash using a pastry brush or your finger. Place 1 rounded teaspoon of cream cheese filling in the center of each wonton wrapper.
Folding and assembling crab rangoon.
  1. To wrap, first lift and press the seams of 2 opposing corners together over the filling. Then, lift the remaining 2 opposing corners and bring them also to the middle to form a small parcel. Press all seams together and fold over the top where all 4 corners meet. If the wrapper does not seem to stick, apply additional egg wash. Repeat with all remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
Folding and assembling crab rangoon.

To fry the Crab Rangoon:

  1. In a deep fryer or deep pot, heat oil to 375 degrees (do not let the temperature greatly exceed 375 degrees or the oil may smoke and burst into flame). Fry wontons in small batches until golden brown, about 15 to 20 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Serve with pepper jelly if desired.
Frying 3 crab rangoon in oil.

To bake the Crab Rangoon:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 regular-sized muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 1 filled wonton in each cup.
Crab Rangoons before baking in a muffin tin.
  1. Bake until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving and serve with pepper jelly if desired.
Crab Rangoons after baking in a muffin tin.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 24 Crab Rangoon, enough for 6 servings, 4 pieces each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The best way to reheat them is in the oven or an air fryer.
  • Make ahead: The Crab Rangoon Wontons can be made a few hours in advance,  then fried up when it’s time to eat. Space out the crab-filled wontons on a sheet tray, then cover with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to keep them moist.
  • Air fryer: To air-fry Crab Rangoon, preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees as directed by the manufacturer (mine suggests preheating for 3 minutes, others not at all). Add in a single layer and cook for 10 minutes. Flip each crab rangoon, then continue frying until your preferred level of crispiness is reached, 2 to 5 minutes longer. Air Fryers vary by manufacturer so adjust your cooking times as needed.
  • Seal the deal: Above all, the most important part of making crab rangoon is sealing the wontons properly. When you fry the Crab Rangoon, if the edges aren’t sealed, the filling may leak out. Pre-made wrappers tend to be drier and firmer than those you make from scratch, so closing can be a little more difficult. Press the seams together very well so the filling stays inside the dumpling as they fry. Use more egg wash as glue if you need to.
  • Start small: Make only a couple dumplings at a time, until you get the hang of it, so the wrappers don’t dry out too much as you go. Once you’ve got the technique down, you can throw down more wonton wrappers and make larger batches.
  • Portion control: Consider using a small cookie scoop to portion out the delicious cream cheese filling, or a teaspoon dipped in cold water in between scoops (that keeps the filling from sticking to the metal).
  • Keep the oil hot: Deep-fried Crab Rangoon get greasy if fried in oil that’s too cool. Make sure the oil is 375 degrees before lowering the dumplings in to cook.
  • Dipping sauces: Pepper jelly, Chinese plum sauce, my favorite Asian sauce, or Sriracha (mix it with honey, soy sauce, or sesame oil if you want to).
A plate of Crab Rangoons.
Crab Rangoon served with Red Pepper Jelly.

Recipe FAQs

Do you use crab or imitation crab in crab rangoon?

You can use either crab meat or imitation crab meat in crab rangoon (and restaurants may use either one as well). Imitation crab isn’t crab at all; rather, it’s a white fish paste often made from cod, mackerel, or barracuda. Like crab, it’s full of lean protein. However, it is far less expensive than traditional crab meat.

What are other names for crab rangoon?

Crab rangoon is also known as crab wontons, crab puffs, or cheese wontons.

Red Pepper Jelly

Sweet and spicy, Red Pepper Jelly is one seriously delicious multitasker. It’s fantastic with any type of creamy cheese, works wonders as a glaze on salmon or pork, and adds a zesty kick to a…

12 hours 25 minutes
View Recipe

More Asian-inspired recipes

Crab rangoons on a brown platter topped with green onions.

Crab Rangoon

Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, Crab Rangoon are a takeout classic. Make them ahead and then bake or fry as many as you can eat!
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 6 servings (4 pieces each)
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian
Calories 258

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces whipped cream cheese (see note 1)
  • 6 ounces white crab meat drained and flaked (see note 2)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 scallions sliced
  • 1 large egg (see note 3)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 24 Wonton wrappers (see note 4)
  • Pepper jelly for serving, optional (see note 5)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, crab meat, mayonnaise, and green onions. To make egg wash, in a small bowl whisk together egg and water.
  • Working in batches, arrange 5 – 10 wonton wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Brush all 4 edges of each wrapper with the egg wash using a pastry brush or your finger.
  • Place 1 rounded teaspoon of cream cheese filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. To wrap, first lift and press the seams of 2 opposing corners together over the filling. Then, lift the remaining 2 opposing corners and bring them also to the middle to form a small parcel.
  • Press all seams together and fold over the top where all 4 corners meet. If the wrapper does not seem to stick, apply additional egg wash. Repeat with all remaining wonton wrappers and filling.

To fry crab rangoon:

  • In a deep fryer or deep pot, heat oil to 375 degrees (do not let the temperature greatly exceed 375 degrees or the oil may smoke and burst into flame). Fry wontons in small batches until golden brown, about 15 to 20 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Serve with pepper jelly if desired.

To bake crab rangoon:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 regular-sized muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 1 filled wonton in each cup. Bake until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving and serve with pepper jelly if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Cream cheese: I like whipped cream cheese because the light, airy texture is easy to mix with other ingredients. Regular cream cheese, softened to room temperature, works just fine.
  2. Crab meat: Look for canned lump white crab meat and drain it before you use it. You can also substitute imitation crab or leave it out entirely.
  3. Egg: An egg wash helps seal the wonton wrappers together.
  4. Wonton wrappers: Look for square wonton wrappers made with wheat (not rice) that measure about 3 1/2” square. They are often sold in the produce section (refrigerated). Each package will probably have a LOT of wrappers, so you can wrap up what you don’t need and freeze them for another Crab Rangoon evening (and there will be.)
  5. Red pepper jelly: This sweet-and-spicy condiment cuts through the richness of the cream cheese perfectly. The easiest thing is to buy it, but you can also make pepper jelly yourself.
  6. Yield: This recipe makes 24 Crab Rangoon, enough for 6 servings, 4 pieces each.
  7. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The best way to reheat them is in the oven or an air fryer.
  8. Make ahead: The Crab Rangoon Wontons can be made a few hours in advance,  then fried up when it’s time to eat. Space out the crab-filled wontons on a sheet tray, then cover with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to keep them moist.

Nutrition

Serving: 4piecesCalories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 9gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 544mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 476IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

You May Also Like

Questions and Comments

Thank you for your comments! Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST, excluding holidays. Comments are moderated to prevent spam and profanity.

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Why were my crab Rangoon tough after the were fried. e wrapper was not crunchy and delicate like those we at from take out places.

    1. Hi reader, sorry to hear they were tough! I don’t think Your oil was hot enough. Did you use a thermometer to ensure the oil reached 375 degrees, and leave time for it to recover the heat between batches? Hope this helps! – Meggan

  2. Yes, they can be. However not longer than 3-4 weeks for best taste. Do not thaw prior to cooking.

  3. I love chicken with cashew nuts but not the traditional version with all the veggies. Just the sauce (YUMMM, love that sauce) and chicken, scallions and cashews. Any recipe ideas are greatly appreciated!

  4. I omit pnion& use a little chopped chives or dried parsley-not both I also add a small pinch of 5 spice powder in mixture .I use canned crab. I hate it with imitation.5 stars

    1. Hi Diane, great tips! I have 4 spice powder and I never know what to do with it, I’ll have to try it here. I am not so fussy about my crab, but I do agree the canned stuff is better than imitation. Thank you so much for stopping by!