Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Crab Rangoon – Rhymes with Swoon

Many people are surprised when they find out that crab rangoons are about as Asian as Buffalo chicken wings, but it’s true. Even though they’re commonly found on Chinese and Thai menus, they were actually invented in San Francisco, at Trader Vic’s, in 1956.

While not “authentic,” these crispy crab and cream cheese wontons are one of the most addictive, delicious, and crowd-pleasing appetizers ever created. That is, if the filling has enough crab in it. Most of the restaurant versions I’ve had are probably 3 or 4 parts cream cheese, to 1 part crab, but here we’re using a 1 to 1 ratio, and the results are amazing.

Besides being generous with the crab (or lobster, or chicken), the other critical factor is the “warhead” fold. Even though you can fold these over once to make a simple triangle, I highly recommend using the method shown herein.

The “turnover” fold is easier, but you don’t get nearly as much crispy goodness, and that’s what makes these so great. It’s that contrast between the warm creamy center, and those four crunchy edges that makes this such a magical bite I really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 60 Crab Rangoons:
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces crab meat, drained well
1 clove crushed garlic
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
60 square wonton wrappers
canola oil for deep-frying

For the sauce:
(Note: I only made a half batch in the video. This should easily be enough for 60 rangoons)
1 cup ketchup
1/4 rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce, or to taste


Rob said...

Hey Chef John, I don't own a fryer -- but I'm salivating. Can I dredge them in oil them cook them in the oven? Any hacks other than filling a frying pan with oil? Looks great!

Mark Leo said...

That's why i always love to visit this this food wishes blog. Specially like others i also to see unique recipes so that i can also get idea about more food dish so that we can publish in our Food Network. For the first time i have seen that Crab Rangoons recipe and i heard first time about this dish. Thanks for you co-operation shown us your food dishes idea and techniques how to make all of this delicious and yummy food.

talis said...

My recipe uses A1 instead of the Worcestershire. It makes all the difference.

Valerie Beurtin said...

They look so good !!

Jason Smith said...

I feel a missed opportunity for fresh, prepared horseradish.

Chef John said...

I thought about it, but wanted something closer to sweet & sour, and was afraid the horseradish would be to close to a cocktail sauce.

Lisa from Indiana said...

Any ideas on how to make these ahead and keep them crispy for an hour or two?

Chris Stone said...

Just tried the recipe and WOW! Huge success with the whole family! I cannot believe how simple it was. Thanks so much for the great and simple recipe Chef John!

Chris Stone said...

Just tried this tonight...Worked out perfectly! Thanks for showing us such a tasty and simple recipe Chef John!

P.S. If anyone else is gonna try don't be like me and get carried away with prepping the ragoons while your put of oil continues to heat up...ragoon going into 450+ degree oil turns black in almost 3 seconds. lol. Had to let the oil cool a bit before finishing the rest.

Made two batches.....well over 60 and not a crumb left at the end of the night. Huge success. I know what I'm making for parties from now on.

Judy said...

One of my favorite appetizers EVER, at any place that serves them :) These look AMAZING!

Jim Dowell said...

Chef John, could you recommend a good fryer to make this as well as any of the other amazing foods you use a fryer for? Thanks as always Sir!

Chef John said...

Sorry, don't do specific product recs! Check Amazon for highest rated in your price range.

Jared Morgan said...

What's this talk about quitting? You are my go to source for great and interesting recipes.

Foodfanataholic said...

Chef John, do you think these could be shaped and frozen and then deep fried when you need them?

S.Elliot Crump said...

Can you tell us what fryer you used in the video Chef?

hana akuma said...

Hi Chef! I'd like to try these with shrimp instead of crab because it's easier for me to get aound here, would you recommend raw or is precooked fine?
Many thanks!

Jennifer Clark said...

Hey Chef John!! I have a food allergy. Will these be any good with shredded rotisserie chicken?

Dawn DeMeo Photography said...

These were amazing! Thanks for posting such a great take on this recipe!

The Heimish Chef said...

Hey Chef John,
These look amazing. Any harm in preparing the rangoon a a day or 2 in advance (already filled) and then frying them up to order?

schwartzonthegrid said...

Wow! i just made these, and I'm going to thank you in advance for making our Thanksgiving celebration a memorable one. CAme out perfectly and the taste is heavenly! Happy Thanksgiving Chef John, I'm grateful for Foodwishes!!!

Nogoodcook said...

Pahleease Chef John...is there any way of cooking these ahead?

Jerry Drzewiecki said...

To Hana Akuma-Almost all crab meat sold in grocery stores(canned or fresh) has been precooked on the catch boat or shortly thereafter, so I would use properly cooked shrimp as a substitute. I have never made Crab Rangoon, but I really like your suggestion to use shrimp. I am recently retired, so I am always trying to trim my budget. Thanks.

Jerry Drzewiecki said...

To Jennifer Clark-I don't think it makes any difference what you mix into the cream cheese. The wonton wrapper provides a nice tidy and crunchy suitcase to hold everything together, the cream cheese and seasonings provides some flavor and textural contrast, but the star of the show is the main flavoring agent(seafood, chicken, meats, etc.). Try this. Sweeten your cream cheese with some sugar and mix together, add an equivalent amount of blueberries to the cream cheese. Form your wanton packages and fry them. Sprinkle the 'Rangoon' with powdered sugar. I haven't actually tried this concoction, but I think it would work and become a breakfast hit. I could probably think of a million different combinations. Very versatile dish.

Maninderjit Ghotra said...

Chef John,
Something slightly strange happened when frying. During my first batch, I threw the rangoons in the fryer right after folding, and those turned out great. But then I tried to fold as much as I could before frying, and put them aside for about 30 min. I figured it would taste better warm than making them immediately and waiting around for everyone to eat. But with the second batch, there were strange airbubbles that formed. Fold, fryer temp and everything was the same. Only difference was leaving the folded rangoons alone for half an hour. I was hoping you might have a solution, of course I could just follow with what I did with the first batch, but if you're planning to entertain many guests, how do you get around the prep and avoid what happened to the second batch?


Amy Deluca said...

I just made these for New Year's Eve. They were delicious and everyone raved about them. Unfortunately I'm not so good at folding the wonton skins up to look like warheads so they didn't look as great as yours. I guess I just need to practice, LOL!

Eileen Jordán said...

I just made these!I had no green onions and I used regular onions finely minced, garlic powder and some tahini oil (to substitute the sesame oil). When I put them in the frige to make the sauce, I used ketchup, white vinegar (less of course) and white sugar with a touch of honey.I fried 6 for myself and 10 for my husband, who was downstairs doing something to the car. I ate my 6 then 8 more and had to start the frying all over. The rangoons were perfect. The sauce was perfect. But because I had to start the frying all over...my husband tasted the pain... he didn't care and went for more Sriracha...great little bundle of deliciousness!

Parenting 365 said...

Chef John,
Your blog is wonderful and so well put together. Thank you for this, I have a parenting blog with a small cooking corner. I can't wait to cook some of the things you show I will make sure to link anything i use from your site to you. I always feel you give credit where it is due.
I am excited to see more of what you do.

Thank you so much for such a great site!


vickie flohrs said...

I just made these and they awesome tkx :)

Paul Johnston said...

I just made these with lobster and shrimp. I over did it a bit having 3x as much meat as cream cheese and I added a single egg as a binder. I also added some honey to the dip. INCREDIBLE!


The Thimbleberry Patch said...

Just made these, so simple and delicious!