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How to Make Air Fryer Crab Rangoon

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Air fryer crab rangoon are a delicious side dish. These crispy bite sized crab appetizers combine crab (or imitation crab) with cream cheese in a fried dumpling! They are surprisingly easy to make!

crab rangoon on a platter

These cute little air fryer crab rangoon are fun to make at home! Using an air fryer means you can make this popular appetizer quickly and easily without deep frying.

My kids love crab rangoon. If we order Chinese food they always want to get some to enjoy and dip into sweet and sour sauce.

Of course this is ironic because crab rangoon is not remotely authentic Chinese food and was created to take wontons and make them appeal more to Americans.

holding an air fryer crab rangoon

But authentic or not crab rangoon are extremely tasty! Crispy crab meat and cheese dumplings that are fried – yum!

Looking for more Chinese inspired appetizers to make in your air fryer? Try my air fryer egg rolls or sweet and sour egg rolls!

Why You Will Love Air Fryer Crab Rangoon

  • Using an air fryer makes these much, much lower in fat and calories than takeout crab rangoon.
  • These air fryer crab rangoon are simple with only a few ingredients.
  • Once you get the hang of folding these you can make them fast and they cook in only minutes.
  • They are fun to make!

Real Crab or Imitation Crab?

Most crab rangoon that you get in restaurants uses imitation crab. So one of the advantages to making crab rangoon at home is that you can use real crab if you like.

Of course the disadvantage to using real crab is that it is usually expensive. At my local grocery store crab claw meat costs about 3 times more than imitation crab and lump crab meat costs about 6 times more.

So I use imitation crab meat in my crab rangoon. With all the cream cheese in the filling the it doesn’t seem to me that the taste difference will be very noticeable.

Imitation crab is made from white fish like pollock and has some added flavoring to make it taste like crab. If I spend the money for real crab I am going to make crab cakes, where the crab flavor really stands out.

Other Key Ingredients

  • Wonton wrappers – Wonton wrappers are easy to find in the produce section of most grocery stores, right by the egg roll wrappers and Asian vegetables.
  • Cream cheese – Crab and cream cheese are the basic ingredients in this easy appetizer. It will be easier to mix the filling if you let the cream cheese come to room temperature.
  • Green onion, garlic, salt – These ingredients flavor the crab rangoon and make it extra tasty and delicious.

How to Make Air Fryer Crab Rangoon

1. Mix the Filling

Start by shredding the crab into small pieces. You want shreds, not chunks of crab in the rangoon. Drain the crab well, since a runny filling will be more likely to leak out.

mixing the ingredients

In a large bowl mix the crab meat, cream cheese, green onion, garlic and salt. Stir until it is creamy and well combined.

2. Make the Wontons

Before you start making the crab rangoon set the air fryer to start preheating at 350 degrees F. I don’t always preheat the air fryer, but if you do your rangoon will crisp better.

Get a wonton wrapper out and put it on a cutting board. Put about 1 teaspoon of crab rangoon filling in the center of the wrapper. Don’t be tempted to add more filling, if you overfill the wonton wrapper it is more likely to leak.

putting the filling in the wonton wrappers

Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it around the edges of the wrapper. Then fold it by bringing all four corners of the wrapper together in the middle, above the crab mixture.

Pinch the corners together and then pinch each seam together to seal. They will look kind of like a pinched purse.

rangoons before air frying

It might take a couple of tries to get good at making these wonton, but it easier to do it than to describe how to do it.

3. Air Fry the Crab Rangoon

Once you have 8-10 done either brush them with oil using a pastry brush or spray them with oil from a spray bottle. The oil is needed so they get brown and crispy.

brushing the crab rangoon with oil

An air fryer uses less oil than a deep fryer, but this recipe doesn’t work with no oil. Don’t use commercial spray oil like Pam, since the preservatives in the oil can damage the coating of the air fryer basket.

uncooked crab rangoon in air fryer basket

These wonton need to be cooked in a single layer in the air fryer, so you will need to make 3-4 batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. I find my 5.8 quart air fryer can fit 8-10 at a time.

Put them in the preheated air fryer basket and cook them for about 6 minutes until they are golden brown. You don’t need to flip these as they cook.

Serving

Serve these right away with bowls of dipping sauce like sweet and sour sauce if desired. They are best when the are hot and crispy.

crab rangoon in air fryer basket

If you want to keep the first batch warm as you make more batches you can put them in a preheated 250 degree oven to keep them crisp. We usually just eat them as they are done!

Tips

  • It is not uncommon for a little bit of filling to leak out of the center.
  • And if you don’t seal the edges completely steam can escape which will make them break open. I just eat any “defective” crab rangoon before serving.
  • You can also bake these in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes until they are brown. They won’t be quite as crispy if baked in the oven.
holding an air fryer crab rangoon

Freezing Crab Rangoon

These freeze well. You can freeze them either before cooking or after. Either way they should be frozen flat, on a tray, and then put in air tight bags after they are frozen.

To cook them from frozen air fry them at 330 degrees F for about 8 minutes if they were cooked first and 12 minutes if not cooked first. Either way spritz them with more oil before air frying them.

They won’t be as good as if air fried right after they were made, but they are still pretty good.

Find More Air Fryer Appetizers

Yield: 30

Air Fryer Crab Rangoon

crab rangoon in air fryer basket

These crispy bite sized crab appetizers combine crab (or imitation crab) with cream cheese
in a fried dumpling.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce package imitation crab meat
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspon salt
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • spray oil or 1 Tablespoon oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Shred or chop the crab meat and make sure it is well drained.
  3. Combine the crab meat, cream cheese, garlic, green onions and salt in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. Put a wonton wrapper on a cutting board and fill a small bowl with water. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it around the edges of the wrapper.
  5. To fold the crab rangoon bring all four corner together above the crab mixture and pinch them together. Then pinch each of the four seams together.
  6. After you have made 8-10 wonton either spray them with oil or use a pastry brush to brush oil onto them. Place them in the air fryer basket, making sure they aren't touching.
  7. Air fry for 6 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  8. Continue making batches of wontons until the filling is used up.

Notes

It is not uncommon for a little bit of filling to leak out of the center.

You can also bake these in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes until they are brown. They won't be quite as crispy if baked in the oven.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

crab rangoon on a platter
collage pinterest pin for air fryer crab rangoon
By on March 7th, 2021

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