What’s Up, Hungry People!
We order Chinese food pretty frequently in our household. With a Chinese drive-thru just a few blocks away, it’s hard to resist grabbing some almost daily. One thing that’s a guaranteed pick for me? Crab rangoon. Those pockets of crispy, cream cheese and crab goodness are just too good to pass up. So, I thought, why not bring that joy into my own kitchen so I can indulge anytime I want?
Here’s What You Need
- Cream Cheese: Provides a creamy, tangy base for the dip, making it rich and luscious.
- Sharp White Cheddar: Adds depth and a sharpness to balance out the creaminess of the cream cheese.
- Heavy Cream: Gives the dip extra richness and a smoother texture, making it velvety and indulgent.
- Soy Sauce: Adds a salty, umami flavor that complements the sweetness of the crab meat.
- Imitation Crab or Real Lump Crab Meat: The star protein of the dip, adding seafood flavor and texture.
- Green Onions: Offers a subtle, fresh crunch and color, enhancing the overall presentation and flavor.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: Creates the crispy, crunchy topping that contrasts beautifully with the creamy dip below.
- Parmesan Cheese: Adds a salty, nutty flavor to the panko topping, making it more interesting and layered.
- Butter: Used for sautéing and as a binding agent for the panko topping, adding richness and flavor.
- Pepper: A small but essential addition to season the dip, adding a slight kick.
- Wonton Wrappers: Serve as the crunchy vessel for the dip, turning into chips when fried.
- Coarse Sea Salt: Enhances the flavor of the fried wonton chips, giving them a finished taste.
- Vegetable Oil: Used for frying the wonton wrappers, it makes them crisp and golden.
- Sriracha: Adds a spicy flair to the dip, allowing for heat customization.
I opted for imitation crab in my dip, mainly because it was on sale and lump crab meat was considerably pricier. But hey, use what your budget allows! What really makes or breaks this recipe are the wonton wrappers and panko bread crumbs. These are your crunch elements, and they deserve some attention!
To kick things up a notch, I couldn’t resist drizzling some sriracha sauce on top for that extra spicy kick. If you’re not a fan of spice, feel free to skip this part.
Let’s talk about the ingredients a little more. The wonton wrappers are crucial because they transform into your very own homemade wonton chips when fried. And those panko bread crumbs? They add another layer of crunch that you’d miss if it weren’t there.
If you’ve opted for imitation crab like me, don’t sweat it. When mixed with the other flavors, especially the cream cheese, it blends in seamlessly. Plus, it’s a more affordable option if you’re cooking on a budget.
Spicing Things Up
Love spice? Me too. Sriracha adds that zesty zing we all crave sometimes. However, feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking, or even omit it altogether if you’re feeding a spice-sensitive crowd.
Tips for the PERFECT Crab Rangoon Dip
- Choosing Crab Meat: If you’re using real lump crab meat, make sure it’s free of shells for a smoother texture. If you’re going for imitation crab, check that it’s thawed properly.
- Preventing Cheese Clumps: Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before starting; this ensures a smoother, lump-free dip.
- Soy Sauce Substitutes: If you’re looking to reduce sodium, you can opt for low-sodium soy sauce or even use a bit of tamari for a gluten-free option.
- Wonton Wrapper Tips: Keep the wonton wrappers under a damp towel while you work to prevent them from drying out.
- Frying Safety: When frying the wonton wrappers, don’t overcrowd the pan; this will help them fry evenly and make it easier to manage.
- Spice Level: If sriracha isn’t your thing but you still want some heat, you can use red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Serving Ideas: This dip pairs well with veggies like carrot and cucumber sticks if you’re looking for a healthier crunch.
- Storage Tips: If you end up with leftovers, store the dip in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven to revive the crispiness of the panko.
- Baking Dish: Using shallow, wider dishes like ramekins allows for more surface area for the panko to get crispy. A deeper dish may result in a softer topping.
- Oil Temperature: Make sure the oil is at the right temperature for frying. Too low, and the wonton wrappers will be oily; too high, and they could burn.
There you have it! You’ve successfully made your own crab Rangoon dip and wonton chips, ready for snacking or serving at your next gathering. Dive in and let me know how it turns out. I bet you won’t be able to resist making it again and again!
Crab Rangoon Dip & Wonton Chips
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 2 cups sharp white cheddar
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups imitation crab or real lump crab meat shredded
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 cup panko
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 10 wonton wrappers cut diagonally into chips
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt for chips
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- sriracha for topping
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a skillet over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter, then add the softened cream cheese and cheddar cubes. Stir until melted.
- Add three tablespoons of heavy cream and soy sauce to the cheese mixture and stir until completely incorporated.
- Shred the crab meat, then add it to the cheese mixture. Stir well to combine, then add a dash of pepper and one of the chopped green onions. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a small bowl, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Stir the melted butter into the panko bread crumbs along with the ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Spoon the crab and cheese mixture into an oven-safe bowl or pan (I used two ramekins). Top the crab and cheese with panko, then bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until the panko crust is golden brown.
- While the dip is baking, fill a large pot with a few inches of vegetable oil, or use a deep fryer, and heat to 325°F. Cut the wonton wrappers in half diagonally to make triangles, then fry in batches until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to dry. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Let the dip cool for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. Top the dip with sriracha for a spicy flair and garnish with the remaining chopped green onion. Serve alongside the wonton chips and enjoy!