These fresh crab meat and gooey cream cheese filled crispy fried wontons are one of my favorite items to order from any Chinese takeout menu. While they have roots in Polynesian-style restaurants and are named after Yangon in Myanmar, they can now be found on most Chinese-American takeout menus.
There are a lot of fine crab Rangoons out there and then there are the really good ones. My top qualifiers for a good crab Rangoon are as follows:
Folding the Rangoon can be time consuming but that step takes the longest. I’ve provided instructions for making these appetizers both fried in oil as well as air fried. You can also assemble the crab Rangoons ahead of time and freeze them for easy serving using the instructions provided below! Make sure you let them cool slightly before eating, the filling can be lava hot! I serve them with my homemade orange sweet chili sauce though you can use store-bought or swap with another sauce like sweet and sour sauce.
Add the rice vinegar, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, garlic, ¼ cup (60g) of water and red pepper flakes to a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer until the mixture reduces slightly, about 6 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon (15g) of cold water. Add the slurry to the sugar mixture, whisking to combine. Continue to simmer the mixture until the sauce becomes thick and shiny, about an additional 4 minutes. Remove to a small bowl or jar and let cool completely. Use or store covered and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, crab meat, green onion, soy sauce and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
Working one wonton wrapper at a time, add a teaspoon of the creamy crab filling to the center of the wonton.
Brush the edges of the wonton with water. Fold by bringing together two opposite corners of the wontons and pressing to seal. Repeat with the other two corners, squeezing out any air as you seal the wrapper.
Add the sealed wontons in a single layer to a baking sheet dusted with flour, repeating with the remaining filling and wrappers. Freeze the crab Rangoons for 15 minutes before cooking (this will keep the filling from leaking as much when frying).
Add enough oil to reach 2-inches (5cm) up the side of a large cast iron skillet. Heat oil to 350ºF (180ºC). Once oil is hot, working in batches, add a few of the Rangoons and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes.
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining wontons.Let cool for about 5 minutes then serve the crab Rangoons hot with the sweet chili sauce for dipping.
Imitation crab meat or “kani” is meant to mimic the texture and flavor of crab meat at a more affordable price point. The sticks are made from white fish such as pollock which are ground into a paste and mixed with starch and flavoring. To swap the real crab meat with imitation crab, shred, then chop, 1 cup of the kani and add to the recipe as you would with the real crab.
In a small bowl whisk an egg with 1 tablespoon (15g) of water. Brush the wontons all over with the egg wash mixture. Heat air fryer to 350ºF (180ºC). Arrange the crab Rangoons in the basket, cooking a few at a time so as to not overcrowd the basket. Air fry for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
Freeze the uncooked Rangoons on a baking sheet for 15 to 30 minutes so they won’t stick together, then add to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks and cook as instructed below.
TAG ME ON INSTAGRAM TO BE FEATURED ON MY STORIES! @cookingwithcocktailrings