My mom’s house
This isn’t a joke. No person or restaurant makes crab rangoons quite like my mom. I don’t know if it’s her recipe or the dash of love folded into each wonton, but I’ve never had a rangoon that comes close to its level. They’re the ideal balance of sweet and savory, crispy and creamy. An “I made you some crab rangoons” from my mom elicits the same warmth as an “I love you.” Watching her olive-skinned hands shape those fried pyramids stuffed with decadent crab and cream cheese filling ignites a fire in my soul that only a mother knows how to spark.
The first time I tried a crab rangoon from the Mulan’s buffet located on Elsinger Blvd, I knew I had found my favorite restaurant rangoon. They’re drastically different from my mother’s, with a more sugary ooey gooey center and lack of spiciness and onions. However, their unique shape and addictive texture make for a top rangoon in my book. Whenever I dine at Mulan’s, my plate is practically 90 percent crab rangoons, 10 percent other Chinese delicacies. I have to fight the temptation not to stuff my purse with them every time.
Not only does Chicot Hibachi — a high-quality hibachi establishment found on N Hills Blvd in NLR — serve my favorite sushi of all time, they also have some of the most incredible crab rangoons in the Little Rock area. Besides their crunchy wonton exterior and velvety cream cheese interior, the bag actually comes with 5 rangoons instead of 4 like the menu suggests; I think of it as a pleasant surprise from the crab rangoon gods. I suggest dipping your rangoons in their succulent yum yum sauce for a powerful punch of Japanese delectability.
Pho Huyen, one of the best and only Vietnamese restaurants in Conway (located on Dave Ward), offers some mouthwatering rangoons that will elevate your báhn mì or pho eating experience. I like to submerge my rangoons in their sweet and sour garlic chili sauce and wash it down with a gulp of their creamy boba. The crab rangoons themselves are the iconic triangle shape, and they’re always served piping hot. Unlike most places, you can actually see the green onions and crab that are mixed into the filling, which is refreshing in a world that insists on making the cream cheese the star of the show.
As a hidden gem in the McCain Mall in NLR, First Wok may not stand out as sharply as the other restaurants mentioned, but that doesn’t make it any less deserving of its place on my top 5. The crab rangoons are fried fresh right on the spot, and they are made for those who prefer them on the sweeter side. If you’re looking for a quick, scrumptious snack during a shopping break, look no further than First Wok. It holds a special place in my heart because it’s where I was first introduced to crab rangoons. It’s a smart start for any new crab rangoon connoisseurs.
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