Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Aug 7, 2009 07:54 AM

MSP: Crabmeat Rangoon?

Inspired by a post from MplsMary in the MSP Weirdest Food threat I am admitting my undying love for crabmeat rangoon. Do not have my head.

Do any restaurants here even serve it? I expect it would be a frozen and deep fried version, but even there...any particularly good? St. Paul restaurants preferred, because I can't see myself driving 20 miles for crabmeat rangoon. It is suprisingly seldom sighted though.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've never had crab rangoon in my life. I am interested to see people's recommendations, also St. Paulishly focused...


    1. P.S. here's an old thread for you... Jun Bo, 1st Wok in Calhoun Village (is that place still open?) and David Fong's in Bloomington seem to be the recs from back then...


      1 Reply
      1. I love Crab Rangoon, too! It's a guilty pleasure. My favorite is actually from a Mpls skyway lunch place called Ah Sah Wan (Ah So Good!) in the TCF tower. I've also had them at the Teahouse in Plymouth (very good), David Fongs in Bloomington (not good), Pei Wei and P.F. Chang's (ok).

        Besides restaurants, I've seen crab rangoon sold by various brands in in the frozen sections at Aldi, Target (Archer Farms), Lunds/Byerlys, and Cub.

        1 Reply
        1. re: drew13000

          Mmmm, crab rangoon. My favorite comes from Naviya's Thai Kitchen in Richfield off of Hwy 62 and Penn (couldn't find a places link). In fact, a lot of their dishes are excellent, but just a bit on the high-end price wise. They are worth it when you are in for a treat, though!

        2. From the perspective of a St. Louisan, it's weird to imagine that crab rangoon could be considered "weird." Crab rangoon is absolutely ubiquitous in this town. Every low-rent Chinese restaurant serves some version, although I suspect that most of them get them from the same purveyor of frozen appetizers. Every once in a while you get one that is truly well-crafted, in which case you know that it was prepared from scratch.

          3 Replies
          1. re: alan

            Having eaten in (more than) my share of low-rent-but-great Chinese restaurants around the Midwes for decades, I have seen staffers in every one of my regular haunts stuffing wonton wrappers with their own cream cheese/krab mixture, often seated in one of the restaurant's booths during a down time. I've never seen a frozen variety that had the four-pronged shape, but I've seen frozen cream cheese wontons that resembled pierogies more than crab rangoon. Those four corners are part of the evil genius of the dish.

            Dunno how common this was, but the crab rangoon I experienced in east Texas and Brooklyn several times about 15 years ago or so were the familiar shape, only filled with sweet-ish krab salad instead of cream cheese/garlic powder/krab.

            A Chinese friend insists his grandmother tells him the dish originally contained no crab/krab (and what's the point of it, really?), but got its name from the four-cornered shape the wrapper is gathered into before frying. I like that suggestion, which seems eminently logical to me.

            Another WASP friend has a mom who's a very popular caterer. In the late '80s, her most-requested dish by far was "crab rangoon dip," meaning a heated concoction of the innards, served with wonton noodles for dipping. Brilliant way to get the same flavor profile out the door quickly.

            1. re: dmd_kc

              the more common local version is the simple "cream cheese wonton"-- see threads on how the CCW should be msp's signature dish! "crab rangoon" is midwestern/chicago area, no?

              when i worked at the nankin (gads i'm getting old), one cook liked nothing better than to sit on a milk crate and fold CCWs, lining them up in the bottom of a bus tub. he would whine when an order came in and he'd have to stop this prep and cook! LOL! unlike the premade crab rangoons described by Alan above, i think every single "low-rent" americanized-chinese/vietnamese/thai/pan-asian place in town makes their own CCW-- cuz, like, it's easy, and profitable, to do so. my kid brother once fancied himself a connoisseur of CCWs-- how silly is that?

              1. re: dmd_kc

                Your Chinese friend's grandmother was right. "Xiao niao" is what crab rangoons are called when ordered in Mandarin, in the Chinese restaurant (this is what the staff calls them). "Xiao niao" means "little bird" in Mandarin.

                And indeed, no Chinese restaurateur in his/her right mind would actually purchase a frozen product -- there's plenty of cheap labor in Chinese restaurants.

                At our restaurant, we use a mixture of crabmeat product, cream cheese, minced scallions and seasoning. They're stuffed into won ton skins and sealed with egg wash. One of the tricks to getting the won tons to "bubble" and become crispy/flaky when fried is to allow the won ton skins to dry out just a bit before filling them.

            2. I had dinner at Little Sezchuan tonight, and because of you ordered their crispy crab delights off of the "traditional" menu. Crab rangoon it is! Crispy/bubbly wonton skins with sweetened cream cheese and crab inside. Not what I usually order there, but yum!