• Dumplings are humble and homey. They make people smile. I have loved them since childhood, and this site focuses on cooking and finding the tastiest morsels. It's also the companion to my cookbook, Asian Dumplings.

    Andrea Nguyen
    Author & Teacher

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I second Andrea for this. I never knew what is Crab Rangoon till I was in the USA. Fascinating and yet it filled my curiosity whom eventually came up with this idea. I thought it was a 'borrowed' idea from the Asian cooking for the American cuisine. Or simply it can be a fusion food (back then when I first ate these dumplings). Frankly speaking, I do miss these dumplings where you will never find it here in Asia.


Pretty sure that most of the crab rangoon I've ever eaten (from MA and CT take-out spots and buffets) didn't contain an ounce of crab. Maybe that's why I'm not a fan. Although I am in love with fried wontons, "Shanghai Wings", and any other member of the pupu platter family!


Like them indeed, but they are about as Asian as buffalo wings. Still, I am never one to turn down a cream cheese puff.


I say thumbs down! I don't think cream cheese is very Asian. As others have mentioned, if we're talking fusion cuisine, then OK put them in there with chop suey. But I prefer Asian dumplings remain as true as possible to the original influence.

Debra Samuels

I grew up in a suburb of Long Island about 25 miles from New York City. In the 50's and 60's (as that is what I remember) practically every Sunday night,my extended family, grandparents, cousins, ate at Gam Wah, one of the numerous Chinese restaurants all over the "Island."
Most of the families in the restaurant were Jewish. I remember those crab rangoons with cream cheese and couldn't wrap my mind around them -- cream cheese was for bagels and lox, which I had eaten that Sunday morning (and that was exotic food to many of my non-Jewish friends).

How do these things get started?
Culinary evolution, devolution, adaptation, assimilation -- it is all part of the experience when immigrants go to foreign shores and bring their foodways. Just this morning in the NYT I saw an edamame topping for cream cheese to go on top of a bagel!
By the supermarkets no longer translate the word edamame.
Debra Samuels

P. Green

Leave the crab rangoon for an asian fusion cookbook. Yours is fine as it is.

Andrea Nguyen

Love all the great insights, ladies! This is a funny dish as I didn't think much of crab Rangoon but it seems to be a 'definitive' dumpling for many people.

I'm not one to stand in the face of progress -- only in the face of bad tasting food. In Asia, there are many modern dumplings that meld cuisines together for something new. Alvin Leung deconstructs xiao long bao in Hong Kong into some molecular gastronomy deal.

The crab Rangoon that I've tasted have been devoid of crab, even Krab, the fake stuff. For that reason, it has never really appealed to me. But I wonder if it can be made to be tasty?


I LOVE crab rangoon. I'll be honest, I did check your book for a crab rangoon recipe and felt almost disappointed that there wasn't one. Then I looked into the history of the tasty little devils and realized they are more of an American creation. I totally understand why they are not included in the book....I would still like to make them though!

By the way. I just made my first batch of chinese dumplings. They were amazing! I used pre-made skins just to take some of the work out of it. I can't wait to finish this batch so that I can make my own wrappers for the next one! Your cook book is wonderful!

P. Green

Andrea, that's a great point. My only experience with crab rangoon was at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse where the crab meat also seemed to be nonexistent. But the worse mistake, I think, was the excessive amount of cream cheese (maybe 1-2 Tb full) used for the filling. It made me feel sick to my stomach.

Be reasonable with the cream cheese.

Ben in China

I grew up in New Hampshire and Chinese restaurants always served Crab Rangoon while I was growing up. After 5 years of living in Asia, I can honestly say that the cheesy dish couldn't possibly hold a place in the annuls of dumpling history.

There is a fake feeling of healthiness about American-Chinese food and crab rangoon is one of the culprits. I'm writing about dumplings in my blog this month. I will be checking out more from your blog Andrea. Looks great!

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Claro sois derechos. En esto algo es y es el pensamiento excelente. Le mantengo.


Hi Andrea - I love dumpling and I love crab rangoons, so I guess, by default, I love your site? :-)

I grew up in Asia and had never heard of crab rangoons till I moved to America. I now absolutely love them! I just had the yummiest ones at Mingalaba, a Burmese restaurant in Burlingame. Theirs are so amazingly good!

Gail Boothroyd

I never experienced anything like a "Pu Pu" platter until I was relocated to the New England area. What a hoot! Some food items were WAY processed, while others were tasty, interesting, and (yep) fun!?! Either way, never heard of anything like it before. Here's this: When I was 5 or so, my best friend was Debbie, an Asian American. (My dad was in the military.) Her mom prepared some serious food, and Dim Sum to boot. Cereal or any other American/British-style breakfast went out the window. My mom became exasperated with my eating habits. (I still dislike cereal.) She still talks about it to this day. And, it's been 35 years.

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