Do you love the amazing cream cheese rangoon from Panda Express, but you're tired of paying top dollar for them? Fortunately, they're super simple and quick to make! Cream cheese rangoon are the perfect way to start off a meal of copycat Chinese takeout.
Why This Recipe Works
- It tastes identical to Panda Express' rangoon since we're using exactly the same ingredients.
- They won't fall apart in the fryer. Placing a few drops of water on the wonton wrappers and pinching them together firmly will keep them from popping open.
- They won't burn. Keeping the deep frying oil at 350°F will help them cook quickly and properly without burning.
Craving rangoon on a weeknight? Here's the good news--you might already have a lot of these ingredients in your fridge or pantry at home. If not, it will be quick to grab what you need at the grocery store.
- Cream Cheese: make sure it's the brick kind, not the tub spread variety, and that it's softened to room temperature.
- Green Onions: thinly slice the green part of the onion for this recipe.
- Garlic: I used dried garlic powder for convenience.
- Wonton Wrappers: these are typically in the refrigerated produce section of the grocery stores where I live. If you can't eat wonton wrappers, substitute with egg roll wrappers or rice paper.
- Deep Frying Oil: make sure to use a high smoke point oil, such as peanut or vegetable oil, for this step. You'll also need enough to fill a pot or saucepan 2 inches deep.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Crab: Add canned crab to the filling.
- Extra Garlic: Use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
- Dessert: Omit the garlic and onion from the cream cheese and add a few tablespoons of sugar instead. Sprinkle the hot rangoon with sugar after deep frying.
- Air Fryer: Fry at 300°F for 6-10 minutes, turning and spritzing with oil halfway through.
- Baked: Bake at 325°F for 8-10 minutes, or until browned.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients.
- Place the cream cheese, green onions, and garlic powder in a bowl.
- Mix well to combine.
3. Place a small spoonful of the filling on each wonton wrapper, then place a dot of water on each side of the wonton wrapper. The dot of water should be halfway from each corner.
4. Bring the sides into the center and pinch to seal. Make sure the wonton wrapper is sealed where the drop of water was to help it stick together.
5. Repeat until all of the wontons are shaped. Don't worry if the first few don't look as good; you'll get the hang of the shaping quickly.
6. Deep fry them in 350°F oil until they're golden brown.
7. Drain the rangoon on paper towels.
8. Serve with sweet-and-sour dipping sauce and enjoy right away!
This simple appetizer consists of a creamy filling made from cream cheese, green onions, garlic powder placed in a wonton wrapper and deep fried. They have a delightful flavor from the onion and garlic, and are super crispy from the deep frying.
No, they don't contain crab, so they're perfect for those who have seafood allergies.
Yes, they are excellent! The deep fried wontons are crunchy and delicious, and they contrast beautifully with the flavorful cream cheese filling.
Rangoon are made with wonton wrappers, but they're not the same as wontons. Wontons originate from China and are typically filled with meat and boiled, while rangoon are a Chinese American invention that's filled with cream cheese (or in many restaurants, crab as well).
Panda Express serves rangoon with a red sweet and sour dipping sauce. If you're allergic to red food dye, simply make your own and omit it. You can also try other dipping sauces, such as peanut, sesame, or ginger. If you're not big into sauces, that's fine--these rangoon taste fantastic on their own!
Make Ahead: Make sure to fry them up fresh, as they'll taste a lot better. Uncooked ones can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days as long as they are sealed in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.
Leftovers: Refrigerate them for up to 1-2 days. They can't be stored at room temperature due to the cream cheese filling.
Freezing: It's best to freeze the rangoon before cooking them. Flash freeze on a cookie sheet for an hour, then place in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Don't defrost before deep frying; just cook them longer.
- Don't use too much water on the wonton wrappers when shaping, or it may not stick well.
- Be sure not to let the cream cheese filling ooze out when shaping the rangoon, as it may bubble out as they fry.
- Remove the rangoon from the hot oil when they are still a light golden brown. They'll darken a couple more shades as they cool.
Other Panda Express Recipes You'll Love
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Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoon
- Place the softened cream cheese, green onion, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well blended.
- Separate a wonton wrapper from the stack and place it on the work surface. Drop about 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese filling on the wonton wrapper, then place a dot of water on each side of the wrapper. Bring the center of each side into the middle and pinch firmly. (See photos in the blog post for a visual demonstration of this technique.) Repeat until you have used up all of the cream cheese filling.
- Carefully place three rangoon in the hot oil, letting them float around the pot until they are a nice golden brown. Be sure to remove the rangoon when they are a little lighter in color than you would like, as they will darken a couple of shades as they cool. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lift them from the oil, then let them drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the rangoon are fried.
- Let the rangoon cool for 5-10 minutes before enjoying, as they will be extremely hot from the oil. Enjoy immediately with sweet-and-sour dipping sauce or as an appetizer for other Panda Express dishes.
- When you shape the wontons, make sure that no filling is oozing out, or more may bubble out during the frying.
- Don't flip the rangoon upside down when they're frying, or the cream cheese may leak out.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.