Last Updated on January 18, 2022
Today, we’re going to be answering the question: is Crab Rangoon gluten-free? And taking a look at the best gluten-free Crab Rangoon recipe to try yourself, at home. You’ll most often find these delicious bite-sized appetizers in US Chinese restaurants. And they are small crispy parcels of goodness – but are they gluten-free? Let’s take a look.
What Is Crab Rangoon?
If you’re a lover of Chinese cuisine, you’ll likely already know what Crab Rangoon is. Or you may know them by one of their other names, such as:
- Crab Puffs
- Crab Rangoon Puffs
- Cheese Wontons
- Crab Pillows
These are most often served as an appetizer and they are crispy dumplings, which have a filling of crab meat or imitation crab meat. The dumplings are usually made with wonton wrappers.
Learn more about: Japanese Meat Bun Recipes
Ingredients In Crab Rangoon
Depending on where you get your Crab Rangoon, the flavorings and fillings can differ slightly. But the standard ingredients in Crab Rangoon are:
- Wonton Wrapper
- Crab Meat/Imitation Crab Meat
- Cream Cheese
Is Crab Rangoon Gluten-Free?
If you take a quick glance at the ingredients, it may appear as though it’s gluten-free. However, that is not the case. More often than not, wonton wrappers are not gluten-free. They’re usually made with wheat flour, which means although the filling itself is gluten-free – the wrapping is not.
Gluten is a protein you’ll find in cereal grains, such as barley, rye, oats (unless GF oats), and unfortunately, in this case, wheat. Wheat is the cheapest flour to obtain in the Western world, which is why it’s such a common ingredient in everyday foods.
The Crab Rangoon you’ll come across in your local Chinese restaurant and or takeout will more often than not, not be gluten-free. If you’re unsure, it’s best to avoid them as there’s a high chance of them containing gluten. However, you may want to check with your server, as some restaurants may choose to use rice paper instead of wonton wrappers.
Can You Use Rice Paper For Crab Rangoon?
Good news – yes you can! Rice paper is naturally gluten-free and usually easy to obtain in your local grocery stores – so if you’re looking to make Crab Rangoon at home, using rice paper instead of wonton wrappers is a quick, easy substitute.
However, it may take some getting used to, as rice paper is not the easiest thing to work with. The taste is very similar to a wonton wrapper, but rice paper is much softer and can be very slippery – so it may take some practice to perfect your Crab Rangoon.
Gluten-Free Crab Rangoon Recipe
While it’s unlikely you’ll find ready-made Crab Rangoon, it’s pretty easy to make yourself at home! We’ll be taking a look at 2 recipes today. One of which is low carb and gluten-free, and the other is gluten and dairy-free Crab Rangoon. Let’s take a look!
Low Carb & Gluten-Free Crab Rangoon
For this recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry, the ingredients you’ll need are:
- 80z of cream cheese
- 6oz of crab meat/imitation crab meat
- 1/2 cup of chopped onions
- rice paper wraps
- oil (to fry)
Follow these simple steps to make your Crab Rangoon:
- In a food processor, add cream cheese, crab meat, and onions. Pulse until combined and place to one side
- Rice paper wraps are not soft, so you need to soften them yourself. You can do so by placing them in warm water for around 30 seconds. Once soft, cut into quarters
- In the center of each rice paper wrap, place around a teaspoon of your cheese and crab filling. You can make it into a wonton shape, or a mini eggroll shape if you prefer (that’s the easier option!). Leave them for a few minutes before you fry so they have time to hold their shape
- In 375F oil, fry them. This usually takes around 2 minutes, or until they get a slightly golden color. You may need to make the oil hotter if they aren’t turning brown
- Remove from frying and drain using paper towels
Your Crab Rangoon is ready!
Gluten & Dairy Free Crab Rangoon
If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative as well as being gluten-free – look no further! This recipe from Wicked Spatula caters to a range of dietary lifestyles. The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are:
For the Dough:
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1/2 tsp. of sea salt
- 2/3 cup + 1-2 tablespoons of sparkling water
For the Filling:
- 8oz of dairy-free almond milk cream cheese
- 6oz crab meat
- 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
- 1 minced green onion
- 1/2 tsp. of coconut amino
- 1/2 tsp. of sea salt
- pinch of white pepper
Here’s a step by step guide to making your Crab Rangoon:
- Combine the dough ingredients and mix well until you have a doughy texture and set aside
- Combine all filling ingredients, mix well and set aside
- Roll the dough into 1″ balls. Roll out the dough to around 1/8 of an inch thick and in the center, fill with a teaspoon of your filling mix. Carefully fold the edges to make your wonton shape
- Heat around an inch of coconut oil (medium heat)
- Fry the wontons for around 45 seconds on each side (or until golden)
- Remove and drain on paper towels
Your gluten and dairy-free Crab Rangoon is now ready! It’s much easier than you were thinking, right?
I hope this recipe has helped to answer the question: is Crab Rangoon gluten-free? And shown how easy it is to make Crab Rangoon at home! If you try one of the recipes yourself, I would love to know how they turned out, so please feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Or if you have your own Crab Rangoon recipe that you’d like to share with us, please do! You may be helping out a fellow gluten-intolerant individual. Sharing is caring!
Read more about: Do Spring Rolls Have Gluten?
Hi, my name’s Zoë. I’m 28 years old and live in London, UK. I work full time as a freelance writer and critic for West End theatre. Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I spend most of my free time at the theatre, or at conventions. I’m married to the love of my life, and live in a small apartment with my fur baby, Lillie. I run two of my own blogs: No Safer Place and Stage to Page: both of which have won awards. I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about all things stagey.