Air fryer crab rangoon are crunchy on the outside, creamy and delectable on the inside, and scrumptious all the way through.
Enjoy delicious rangoon dumplings minus the guilt! There’s very little oil in this recipe, so you won’t have to worry about the calories.
Rangoon dumplings are usually deep-fried to get that crispy, golden-brown finish.
Fortunately, with the air fryer, you can achieve the same color and crunch without all that nasty oil.
So, if you’re looking for a cleaner, more wholesome version of this popular Chinese appetizer without sacrificing flavor, this air fryer crab rangoon is definitely for you.
Let’s get the show on the road!
Air Fryer Crab Rangoon
What’s not to love about these dumplings? Unlike traditional dumplings, the skins of the rangoon are crunchy and crispy.
The filling is quite unique, as well. Instead of the usual ground meat, you’ll get a mixture of cream cheese and crab meat.
If you haven’t tried that combo before, you’re in for a treat.
The richness and creaminess of the cream cheese go absolutely well with the sweetness of the crab meat.
Together, they create the perfect bite.
A word of caution, though: these fried wontons are ridiculously addictive. I highly recommend you at least double the recipe.
What Is Crab Rangoon?
If you’re not familiar, crab rangoon is a snack of deep-fried wontons filled with crab meat and cream cheese filling.
Also called crab puffs or crab rangoon puffs, these dumplings are crunchy and bursting with a creamy and savory filling.
Served with a thin, sweet, and sour dipping sauce, this appetizer is perfect to start your meal.
If you’re in an authentic Chinese restaurant, though, don’t go looking for this delightful treat.
While inspired by Chinese dumplings, this bad boy is a product of modern American Chinese cuisine.
How to Fold the Rangoon
There are two ways to fold the wrappers to create the rangoon.
While they’ll all come out looking differently, trust that they’ll seal in the filling nicely.
Also, keep in mind that while the first few tries will be a bit tricky, it’ll be a breeze once you get the hang of it.
This is the conventional method that yields a traditional-looking rangoon.
Dip your index finger into the warm water and wet the borders of the wonton wrapper.
Take 2 opposite corners and bring them towards each other to the middle.
Bring the other two opposite corners towards each other and push out as much excess air as you can. Pinch the 4 edges together, sealing in the filling.
Your rangoon will look different, but it’s the faster and easier method.
Just fold the wrapper in half and pinch together the edges to seal them.
It’s super simple, plus, since they’re flat, you’ll ensure a more even cooking.
How Long Do You Cook Frozen Crab Rangoon?
When reheating pre-cooked, frozen rangoon, simply air fry at 330 degrees for 8 minutes. There’s no need to defrost the dumplings beforehand.
Pro-tip: for maximum crispness, spray the tops with a bit of oil.
Tips for the Best Crab Rangoon
- Any type of crab meat works: fresh, canned, jumbo lump crab – use whatever you can find.
- When preparing the crab meat, be sure to remove out as much liquid as possible. Place the meat in a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel and squeeze it as hard as you can. This will help make the wrappers stay nice and crispy.
- For maximum efficiency, lay the batch of wrappers onto a clean, dry work surface. This will make it easy to spoon in the filling.
- Do not wet the wrappers too much, or they’ll get too soggy and possibly tear apart.
- For a shiny golden finish, brush the wrappers with a beaten egg.
- Be sure to seal the dumplings well, otherwise, air will enter the insides and cause the wrappers to burst open.
That said, don’t add too much filling, so it’s easier to seal the dumplings shut. Just a little bit on the center – about a teaspoon – will do.
- When arranging the rangoon in the basket, be sure none of them touch each other. The air fryer works by circulating hot air into the basket, frying foods to a crisp. If there’s not enough space to travel around, the rangoon won’t cook evenly.
If there’s not enough space in your air fryer, don’t force it. Just cook in batches. It doesn’t take long for a batch to cook.
- The length of cooking depends on how powerful your air fryer is. Generally, it’ll take around 8 to 10 minutes, but if you have a powerful air fryer, such as those that run on 1,700 watts, you may need to cook the rangoon shorter.
So, if it’s your first time trying this recipe, I suggest you do a test batch with 1-2 dumplings first.
- Shake the basket halfway through to ensure the rangoon are brown and crispy on all sides.
- Rangoon tastes best when hot from the air fryer. While waiting for the second batch of rangoon to cook, place the 1st batch into a pan and lightly cover it with foil. Pop the pan in a 200-degree-Fahrenheit oven to keep the rangoon warm.
- Flavor variations/additions:
- Mix in a dash of red pepper flakes, chili powder, or cayenne powder to the filling for a punch some heat.
- Try other flavor variants of cream cheese, such as garlic herb, spicy jalapeno, and chive and onion.
- Can’t have dairy? Swap regular cream cheese with dairy-free or tofu.
- On a budget? Use imitation crabmeat instead.
- Try diced ham, chicken, and shrimp for other meat varieties.
- Dip suggestions:
- Sweet and sour sauce
- Honey mustard sauce
- Soy sauce with balsamic vinegar
How to Store Crab Rangoon
As I said, rangoon tastes best when freshly cooked.
But if you have too many leftovers, you can store them in the fridge. The wrappers will get soft, but they’ll still be delicious.
Want to make rangoon ahead of time? The freezer is your best ally.
Just prepare the rangoon as instructed on the recipe card, but instead of popping them in the air fryer, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Freeze them for several hours, or until frozen solid. Transfer the dumplings into a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out as much air as you can, and seal.
Label the bag accordingly and freeze. Frozen, made-ahead rangoon will keep well for up to 2 months.
Air fry the frozen rangoon for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s no need to thaw them beforehand.
What to Serve with Crab Rangoon
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice or Benihana Fried Rice
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls
- Asian Appetizers
- Asian Entrees
- Asian Desserts
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