The Shaping Tip That Will Ensure Fully-Filled Crab Rangoon

There are two aspects that make crab rangoon so appealing: a crisp and golden exterior and a deliciously rich and creamy interior. Biting into a homemade dumpling and being disappointed with a soggy rather than crunchy bite and a paltry helping of cheesy filling can be disheartening. While your instinct for the next batch might be to load enormous heaps of filling into the dumplings and fry them for longer, this may not help matters. Instead, for a more fully-filled crab rangoon, simply re-evaluate your shaping technique. 

There are many ways one can shape a crab rangoon, it's just that so many shapes have drawbacks. For example, folding them into tidy tortellini or origami-esque envelopes can be aesthetic but too complicated and time-consuming when making a huge batch. Alternatively, twisting the dumplings into a purse can be a viable solution, so long as you don't mind an uneven distribution of filling and compromised texture. Even folding the wonton in half for a simple triangle poses its challenges, often ballooning in size and leaking during frying.

The tried and true fold, and one preferred by so many Chinese restaurants, is the classic four-pointed star. By joining the wonton's edges together in the middle, this allows for more filling to be added in a way that won't cause it to disperse but stay concentrated in the center. Additionally, this shape makes for a crunchier outcome as more of the wrapper's surface is exposed to the oil.

How to properly fill star-shaped crab rangoon

It's best to assemble crab rangoons just before frying so the wonton wrappers don't dry out prematurely. After wetting the inside edges, add a scoop of your filling to the center of the wrapper. While the filling quantity can vary based on the wrapper's size, a teaspoon to a tablespoon is typical.

As you wrap crab rangoon into a perfect four-point star, adhering all of the dampened wonton edges in the center, remember to create a proper seal by firmly pinching the middle point where the wonton edges intersect. Then, making sure that there's no air trapped inside, press together the remaining sides of the wonton to create a seal that will prevent any loss of filling. If, however, the edges have dried or simply won't stick, don't fret. Just wet your fingertips and try sealing them again.

After a quick fry, the savory little parcels can be ready to serve with sweet and sour or duck sauce— then again, with a fully-filled crab rangoon, you might not even need them!