Cream cheese wontons serve as a delicious testament to American and Chinese influence melding into a nostalgic, yet tantalizing, starter dish. This savory blend crafts an irresistibly old-fashioned appetizer that transcends cultural borders.
My interaction with cream cheese wontons had been sporadic until the day I decided to share this recipe with you all. Occasionally, my family and I would treat ourselves to a lavish Chinese buffet, a concept deeply ingrained in American culture. Amid the array of food items, these wontons would sit alongside fluffy dumplings and fried sugar donuts in the steam trays. Can you guess the two items I would invariably pick for my plate?
These cream cheese wontons, frequently tagged as “crab rangoon,” usually had imitation crab incorporated into the filling. Not being particularly fond of seafood during my childhood, I kept my distance from them.
This recipe is straightforward and leaves room for customization. Pair these cream cheese wontons with the accompanying dipping sauce or with the classic duck sauce (which ironically has more in common with these wontons than with actual duck). If you wish, you can transform these into the aforementioned “crab rangoons” by adding crab—imitation or authentic—to the filling.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the recipe!
For the Wontons:
- 8 oz. cream cheese (225g)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 scallions (finely chopped)
- 1 pack wonton wrappers
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
- Create the wonton filling by melding the cream cheese, sugar, salt, and scallions.
- Begin assembling the wontons. For each wrapper, moisten the outer edges with a thin layer of water. Position a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the center, fold it over into a triangle, and seal. Bring the two corners on the longest side of the triangle together, securing them with a dab of water. Repeat until all wontons are assembled.
- Warm a few inches of vegetable oil in a small pot until it hits 375 degrees F. Fry the wontons in batches, roughly 2 minutes per batch, until they attain a golden-brown hue. Use a small pot and fry in multiple batches to conserve oil!
- Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients and serve it alongside the wontons.
Tips & Notes:
This recipe yields approximately three dozen wontons.