You’ve probably had crab rangoon at a Chinese or Thai restaurant in the U.S., or at least seen it on the menu. The hot, cheesy, seafood-stuffed won-ton appetizer has an exotic-sounding name and a yummy flavor.
While crab rangoon is named after a city in Burma, the appetizer itself was likely created by Victor Bergeron, the founder of Trader Vic’s, in the 1940s. The tiki-themed restaurant chain, inspired by the culture of South Pacific islands, served mostly Chinese food in its early years — and crab rangoon fit right in on the menu. The crispy, creamy appetizer’s popularity took off from there.
Crab rangoons are seeing a bit of a renaissance on TikTok right now, which might also explain why folks are looking to try new twists on the classic recipe.
One simple variant is crab rangoon dip. Make the filling as a dip and scoop it up with won-ton or other chips.
If you’re thinking that a recipe with crab is expensive to make, you’ll find that most crab rangoon dips involve imitation crab, or inexpensive fish that’s prepared and decorated to look like crab.
Meghan Yager of Cake N Knife is a fan of the original crab rangoon appetizer, which she says her parents introduced to her when they ordered Chinese as a family. Now she herself gets them all the time.
“There’s not an order of takeout Chinese that goes without a set of those delicious little nuggets of awesome in my house, that’s for dang sure,” she wrote on her blog.
Meghan says her version of crab rangoon dip is “an easy dish to serve guests or bring to a potluck.” She bakes won-ton wrappers to make chips. The dip includes lump crabmeat, cream cheese (a key ingredient), sour cream, shredded mozzarella cheese, Worcestershire and soy sauce, Sriracha, lemon juice, garlic, pepper and green onions. Then, simply mix and bake!
Alyse Whitney, a food writer and editor who describes herself as a “crab rangoon connoisseur,” shared her version of crab rangoon dip on Twitter. She air fries her chips and uses cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, soy sauce, garlic powder, sesame oil, scallions and imitation crab legs in her baked dip. Whitney then tops the finished dip off with Thai sweet chili sauce.
Jenny Segal of Once Upon A Chef has her own version of crab rangoon dip that she calls “Hot Crab Rangoon Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips.” Segal says it was inspired by a now-closed D.C. restaurant’s version of the dip.
While the chef’s crab rangoon dip recipe is similar to the two mentioned above, she uses Monterey Jack cheese on top of the dip and highly recommends fresh or refrigerated crab meat, not shelf-stable crabmeat. Segal reminded her followers to drain the excess water from fresh crabmeat and watch for any pieces of shell that might have been missed when preparing it.
Segal also suggests using rice crackers or toasted baguette slices if you’d rather not fry your own won-ton chips.
But if you’d prefer to avoid crackers, chips or the like, you can also scoop your crab rangoon dip with vegetables like the one shown below.
If you’re watching your sugars as well as your carbs, Twitter user Ambria Stoltey shared her keto version of crab rangoon dip, which contained just cream cheese, crab meat, Worcestershire sauce, and sour cream. She used parmesan crisps as chips.
Did I figure out a way to make keto-friendly crab rangoon dip just so I could get my goonz fix? Yes 🤗 pic.twitter.com/vsSqbdDPoW
— Brianna (@_alltimebrianna) May 1, 2021
Here’s her quick and easy recipe:
8oz cream cheese, 8oz crab meat, worchestershire sauce, garlic, and sour cream 🙂 bake at 350° until golden brown!
— Brianna (@_AllTimeBrianna) May 1, 2021
Are you a fan of crab rangoon or the dip version of this classic recipe?