Crab Rangoon

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Crab Rangoon
Type Dumpling
Course Appetizer
Place of origin United States
Main ingredients Wonton, cream cheese, crab meat or imitation crab meat, scallions, garlic
Cookbook: Crab Rangoon  Media: Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon
Hanyu Pinyin xiè jiǎo
Cantonese Yale háaih gok
Literal meaning Crab horn
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Hanyu Pinyin zhǎ xiè jiǎo
Cantonese Yale ja háaih gok
Literal meaning Fried crab horn
Second alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 仰光
Hanyu Pinyin xiè yǎng guāng
Cantonese Yale háaih yéuhng gwōng
Literal meaning Crab Rangoon

Crab Rangoon, sometimes called crab puffs, crab rangoon puffs, or cheese wontons, are deep-fried dumpling appetizers[1] served in American Chinese and, more recently, Thai restaurants, stuffed with a combination of cream cheese, crab meat or imitation crab meat, scallions, and/or garlic and onion.[1] These fillings are then wrapped in Chinese wonton wrappers in a triangular or flower shape, then deep-fried in vegetable oil.[1] The dish can also be baked.[2]


Crab Rangoon has been on the menu of the "Polynesian-style" restaurant Trader Vic's in San Francisco since at least 1956.[3][4] Although the appetizer is allegedly derived from an authentic Burmese recipe,[5] the dish was probably invented in the United States.[6] A "Rangoon crab a la Jack" was mentioned as a dish at a Hawaiian-style party in 1952, but without further detail, and so may or may not be the same thing.[7]

Though the history of Crab Rangoon is unclear, cream cheese, like other cheese, is essentially nonexistent in Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisine, so it is unlikely that the dish is actually of east or southeast Asian origin. In North America, crab Rangoon is often served with soy sauce, plum sauce, duck sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or mustard for dipping.


In the Pacific Northwest states of the US crab Rangoon are also known as crab puffs, although this primarily refers to versions that use puff pastry as a wrapper instead of wonton. They may also be referred to as crab pillows, crab cheese wontons, or cheese wontons.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Parkinson, R.L. (2003). The Everything Chinese Cookbook: From Wonton Soup to Sweet and Sour Chicken-300 Succelent Recipes from the Far East. F+W Media. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-60550-525-1. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ Rossiter, M. (2011). Anti-Inflammation Diet For Dummies. Wiley. pp. 178–179. ISBN 978-1-118-14542-5. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ Town & country 110:4405:39
  4. ^ Herb Caen, Herb Caen's guide to San Francisco, 1957, p. 100
  5. ^ Ned Cronin, Los Angeles Times, Jan 16, 1957, p. c3
  6. ^ Carolyn Walkup, "Trader Vic's to resume U.S., foreign expansion" Nation's Restaurant News, March 6, 2006 full text
  7. ^ Anne Ryan Lesh, "National President Entertained by Engineers Auxiliary", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 1952, p. 5 full text