• Indian-Inspired Crab Rangoon


My Take on Crab Rangoon

By Andrew Zimmern

Most people envision deep-fried cream cheese when they hear the term “crab rangoon,” but I believe there are no limitations for this beloved Chinese-American appetizer. In this recipe, I fill wonton wrappers with lots of fresh crab, herbs and Indian-inspired flavors.

Indian-Inspired Crab Rangoon


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small leek, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 jalapeno, roasted, cleaned and minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 pound fresh lump crab meat
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Wonton wrappers
  • 2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
  • Mango chutney, limes and hot sauce, for serving



Place the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. When melted and foaming add the leek, carrot, celery, shallots, red pepper, garlic, ginger, cilantro, curry, cumin, cayenne and jalapeno. Saute until onions are glassy and curry has become fully aromatic.

Add the flour and stir to incorporate. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to scorch the mixture.

Add the brandy and wine and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the crab and tomato. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the crab is hot and bubbly and the flour has bound the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the crab mixture overnight.

Make the Crab Rangoon

First, make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water. On a flat surface, place the wonton wrapper in front of you as a diamond. Add 1 tablespoon of the filling to the center. Fold the bottom up to make a triangle, sealing the edges with the egg wash. Take two points of the triangle and fold together, sealing again with the egg wash, to make a tortellini shape. Feel free to experiment with shapes! You can make simple triangles, semi-circles or push the outer edges towards the center for a classic crab rangoon shape with four points.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or wok to 375 degrees F. Fry the crab rangoon in batches—being careful not to crowd the wok—until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve with bowls of mango chutney, limes and hot sauce.

Photographs by Madeleine Hill. 

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