If you’ve never had a crab rangoon, or if you’ve only had them fried, prepare for your next great obsession.
Rangoon’s, or crab puffs, are typically made up of crab meat, cream cheese, and onions with any number of additions such as carrots, garlic or Worcestershire sauce. They are common appetizers nowadays, appearing on most Thai and Chinese food menus in the U.S. While their history is unclear, cream cheese is essentially nonexistent throughout Southeast Asia, so they are likely neither Thai nor Chinese in origin, and yet just another delicious deep-fried, cheesy American invention.
When crab rangoons are on a menu, I’m blindsided. I no longer feel the pangs of culinary adventure. I couldn’t care less about the special entrees or appetizers on the menu that evening. My focus is set on those warm, cheesy, crab bites and what surprise sauce the restaurant might be serving with them.
I decided if I was going to break out of that rut, I would need to learn to make them myself — and do it in a (if only slightly) healthier way. I now make batches of 50 at a time and freeze them for when friends come over, or for when I need a quick fix. Stored properly, they’ll stay good for 3 months.
Serves 6-8; Total time, 25 minutes
- 1 package wonton wrappers (about 40-50)
- 1 package of imitation crab (8 oz) or canned crab (8 oz.) — either one is pretty tasty, take-out restaurants commonly use the imitation stuff
- 1 package of low-fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup of green onions, chopped — preferring the pale green and white parts
Ingredients for Apricot Dipping Sauce
- 2 tbsp apricot preserves
- 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- dash of hot sauce, to taste
- pinch – 1/4 tsp salt or peach sea salt (trust me!)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Shred crab or imitation crab meat with a fork. Then combine crab meat with cream cheese and onions. By hand, mix very well.
- Fill each wonton wrapper with a heaping spoonful of the crab mixture. Dampen your fingers with water and lightly trace the edges of the wonton wrapper. Gently pull the opposing corners to meet each other in the center until all four are touching. Squeeze the edges gently to make sure there are no gaps in the wonton where edges meet. Repeat until mixture runs out.
- Place filled wontons on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake about 15-18 minutes or until edges are lightly brown and crispy. Filling should be heated thoroughly — and might possibly be oozing slightly from the sides.
- Serve immediately with apricot dipping sauce (recipe below).
Directions for Apricot Dipping Sauce
- Combine first 4 ingredients and stir well.
- Do a light taste test and add hot sauce to taste.
- Add a pinch of salt or peach sea salt.
- Serve immediately with warm rangoons.