Irresistible Crab Rangoon: Crispy Puffs with Tangy Sweet and Sour Sauce

Easy Homemade Crab Rangoon Recipe with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Discover the ultimate Chinese appetizer: golden, crispy wontons filled with creamy crab and cheese, paired with a zesty homemade dipping sauce!

Crab rangoon, also known as crab puffs, are the undisputed champions of Chinese restaurant appetizers. These crispy, bubbly wonton parcels burst with a molten center of tangy cream cheese, aromatic scallions, and succulent crab. It’s no wonder they’re a crowd favorite!

Get ready to impress your guests with this easy-to-follow recipe that brings the magic of takeout right to your kitchen. Whether you’re hosting a party or craving a delicious snack, these crab rangoon will hit the spot every time.

The Great Crab Debate: Real vs. Imitation

When it comes to crab rangoon, the filling can spark quite the discussion. We’ve put three versions to the test: real crab, imitation crab (surimi), and no crab at all. Here’s what we discovered:

  • Real crab offers a distinct, briny flavor that seafood lovers will appreciate.
  • Imitation crab provides a milder taste that even non-fish eaters might enjoy.
  • No crab at all? While tasty, it’s missing that essential oceanic touch.

Our verdict? Both real and imitation crab work wonderfully, so choose based on your preference and budget. The key is to include some form of crab for that authentic rangoon experience.

Mastering the Art of Rangoon Folding

The shape of your crab rangoon isn’t just about aesthetics – it affects the cooking process too. Let’s explore your options:

  • Simple triangles: Easy to make but prone to puffing up and bursting during frying.
  • Tortellini or purse shapes: Cute and compact, but require more skill to fold.
  • Four-pointed stars: The crème de la crème of crab rangoon shapes!

We recommend the four-pointed star for its perfect balance of crunch and filling distribution. It maximizes the crispy surface area while keeping the delicious crab mixture safely contained. Master this fold, and you’ll be on your way to rangoon perfection!

Crab Rangoon (Crab Puffs) With Sweet and Sour Sauce


For the Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons red chile flakes (more or less to taste, see note)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks or canned chunks, drained

For the Crab Rangoon

  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 6 ounces picked crab meat (or surimi, cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 6 scallions, whites only, finely sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 pack square wonton wrappers (preferably yellow), about 40-50 pieces
  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • Kosher salt


  1. Start by preparing the sweet and sour sauce. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, chile flakes, and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. In a separate bowl, create a slurry by mixing the remaining tablespoon of water with cornstarch. Whisk this slurry into the simmering sauce and bring it to a boil. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rangoon.
  2. For the rangoon filling, gently fold together cream cheese, crab, and scallions in a medium bowl. To assemble, place a wonton wrapper on a clean surface (keep the rest covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel). Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into the center. Moisten the edges with water, then seal by folding into a triangle or creating a four-pointed star shape. Ensure no air is trapped inside. Place on a large plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and repeat until all filling is used.
  3. Complete the sauce by adding pineapple chunks and blending until smooth using an immersion blender or standing blender.
  4. Heat oil in a wok or Dutch oven to 375°F (190°C). Carefully add 10 to 12 wontons to the oil. Fry for about 3 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain temperature and gently agitating with a wire mesh spider. The rangoon should be crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately with the sweet and sour sauce.


Want to prep ahead? Freeze the uncooked rangoon after assembly. Spread them on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to a zipper-lock bag. They’ll keep for up to three months. The sweet and sour sauce recipe includes 2 teaspoons of chile flakes for a moderate kick. Feel free to adjust the heat level to your liking or omit it entirely for a milder version.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
458 Calories
26g Fat
41g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 458
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 737mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 255mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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