Looking for the perfect appetizer for your Chinese feast? Lobster rangoon, it is!
Why use crabmeat if you can use the more classy lobster meat instead? Sure, it costs more, but we all know how much more delectable lobster is than crab.
Plus, you can always use imitation lobster meat if you’re on a budget. The flavor won’t be the same, but it’ll still be delicious.
These lobster rangoon are ridiculously crispy and crunchy on the outside, and sweet and creamy on the inside. I challenge you to stop at just one.
Hungry yet? Let’s get started.
Lobster rangoon is a popular appetizer served in Chinese restaurants in the USA. It may not be an authentic Chinese appetizer, but OMG, it’s amazing.
Deep-fried wontons are filled with a mix of cream cheese and lobster meat. How can anyone say no to that?
They might be appetizers, but they’re so scrumptious, they’ll surely steal the show.
Making rangoon from scratch may seem intimidating, but don’t worry, you’ll nail that wonton-wrapping technique in no time!
I’ll help you every step of the way.
What is Lobster Rangoon Made Of?
Conventional rangoon is made with a crabmeat filling. This recipe jazzes up the traditional appetizer to make something more fancy and tasty.
Instead of crabmeat, these deep-fried wontons have a lobster meat filling. It’s more expensive, but the flavor is also significantly better.
The cream cheese gives the filling an umami-rich flavor that complements the sweetness of the lobster meat.
Lemon juice cuts through the richness, while garlic juice packs an extra punch.
What is the Difference Between a Wonton and a Rangoon?
A wonton is a Chinese appetizer made of meat mixture wrapped in wontons and steamed or deep-fried.
The meat filling can vary from ground pork, chicken, or beef, shrimp, or vegetables.
Rangoon is a Chinese-American appetizer of deep-fried wontons filled with a mixture of cream cheese and crab meat.
Tips for Making The Best Rangoon
- Pulse the lobster with a blender or food processor to get finely chopped meat.
- For the garlic juice, use the liquid from a jar of chopped garlic.
- If you forget to take the cream cheese out of the fridge, just place it in a microwave-safe dish and warm it for 30 to 45 seconds.
- There are two ways to fold rangoon. Whichever option you use, as long as you seal in the filling completely, you’re okay. Otherwise, the wontons will burst open during frying, letting out the filling.
It’ll take a few tries to get it done perfectly, but it’ll get easier when you get the hang of it.
- For a traditional rangoon with 4 corners, bring the 2 opposite corners into the center. Push out as much excess air as you can and pinch the edges to seal the filling.
- For a triangular rangoon, fold the wonton in half and pinch the edges together to seal. This method is much easier, plus, since it’ll create flat rangoon, it’ll ensure a more even cooking.
- Don’t put too much filling. One teaspoon might seem like a little, but it’s more than enough. Putting more than that will make it difficult to seal the wontons shut.
- While real lobster meat obviously yields tastier results, you can always use the more budget-friendly imitation lobster meat. Crabmeat, whether real or imitation, works as well.
- When preparing the lobster meat, try to squeeze out as much liquid as you can so that the wonton wrappers stay crispy. A piece of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel is perfect for this.
- Don’t wet the wontons too much. This will make them soggy, which can lead to tearing.
- For maximum taste and crunch, serve the rangoon hot. The longer it sits at room temperature, the softer and soggier the wontons get. Prevent this from happening by keeping the freshly-cooked rangoon in a 200-degree-Fahrenheit oven while frying the rest.
- To prevent burnt rangoon, ensure that the oil’s temperature remains constantly at 350 degrees Fahrenheit – a thermometer will be handy for this.
- Don’t overcrowd the deep fryer. If you cook too many rangoon at once, the oil’s temperature will drop. You’ll want to deep-fry the wontons, not boil them.
- Want to switch things up? Here are some must-try flavor variations/additions:
- Add red pepper flakes, cayenne, or chili powder for a bit of a kick.
- Instead of regular cream cheese, try other variants like chive and onion, garlic herb, or spicy jalapeno.
- For a dairy-free version, use dairy-free cream cheese or tofu.
- Use other meats such as shrimp, ham, or ground chicken, pork, or beef for the filling.
- Who says rangoon has to be salty and savory? For sweet rangoon, mix cream cheese with Nutella, crushed pineapple, or jam.
- Lobster rangoon is just as good as the filling! Be sure to try these:
- Sweet chili sauce
- Sweet and sour sauce
- Honey mustard sauce
- Soy sauce with balsamic vinegar
- Storage Instructions:
- Rangoon is at peak quality when fresh from the fryer, so cook only what you can eat.
- In the unlikely event of leftovers, store them in the fridge. They’ll lose their crispiness, but the flavor will still be there. If you’re a fan of steamed dumplings, this shouldn’t be a problem.
- You can also prepare the rangoon ahead of time, freeze them, and fry whenever the mood strikes.
Prepare the rangoon as instructed below. Once wrapped, freeze them for 1-2 hours, or until frozen solid. Transfer them into a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal.
Freeze uncooked rangoon for up to 2 months. Fry them straight from the freezer, except add 1-2 minutes to the cooking time.
- To freeze cooked, leftover rangoon, follow the same procedure as above. Reheat in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes – no need to thaw.
Can I use the air fryer to cook lobster rangoon?
Absolutely! The air fryer will give you similar results, but without the extra calories. It’s a lot easier, too – there’s no need to stand in front of a hot stove and sizzling oil.
Here’s how to air fry lobster rangoon:
1. If required, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Arrange the rangoon in the basket, allowing for space in between for the air to circulate. Do not overcrowd the basket to ensure even cooking.
3. Air fry the rangoon for 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. If it’s your first time air frying rangoon, do a test batch with 1 to 2 pieces.
Can I bake the rangoon instead?
Definitely. Pop them in a 525-degree-Fahrenheit oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. They’ll be just as crispy, tasty, but this time, oil-free.
What to Serve with Crab Rangoon
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls
- 26 Chinese Recipes for Homemade Takeout
- 30 Easy Asian Recipes for Takeout
- Asian Entrees
Other Easy Appetizers You’ll Love
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