Josie Mai: Crab rangoon pizza beautifully blends two cultures

This crab rangoon pizza may sound insane, but it beautifully blends two cultural food staples. The recipe features a couple of shortcuts if you're short on time or have a hard time finding ingredients. Globe | Josie Mai

Pizza or Chinese? Yes, please. Crunchy, creamy, sweet and sour, please.

With the following recipe, we can indulge in both cuisines. This crab rangoon pizza is insane, so buckle in.

This craving of mine started when I saw a post about a stellar crab rangoon pizza from a local joint in my neighborhood. For weeks, I kept intending to just go buy one. It was pricey.

Fast forward to Chiefs playoff weekend and I realize I want this for game food, and I do not want to pay a high price for it. Josie, you cook; make your own.

So drum roll — here is the recipe. It will not disappoint. But be careful — it is super addicting, just like those tiny pouches of crab rangoon love.

The recipe comes with two handy shortcuts if you are short on time or can’t find the ingredients. I could not find pizza dough in the Joplin-area grocery stores. So I made my own. In Kansas City, I get them for $3 at Trader Joe’s.

Sweet Asian chili sauce can be found at most stores. You might have to hunt for real flaked crab. Definitely use the real crab instead of imitation. The slightly higher price is worth every bite.

Also, don’t skimp on the cream cheese. It must be Philadelphia — no other brand can get the right melting consistency. As for the mozzarella; you can omit if it sounds strange, but I love the creamy strings of mozzarella.


Crab rangoon pizza

Pizza dough:

  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces flaked crab
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, divided (1 1/2 packages)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small tin of drained water chestnuts
  • Shortcut: 1 ball premade pizza dough

Sweet and sour sauce:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Shortcut: 1 bottle of sweet Asian chili sauce

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. If making own dough, place warm water into large bowl. Add instant yeast and stir. Let sit until the surface is foamy. Whisk in honey and olive oil.

In a medium bowl whisk flour, salt, garlic powder and basil. Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time to yeast mixture with a fork until shaggy. Cover with a dish towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Roll out your pizza dough and stretch onto a pizza stone or large baking sheet covered with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray.

Add half of the crab, 4 ounces of the cream cheese, the garlic, 1 green onion, sesame oil and Worcestershire sauce into a small food processor and process until smooth.

In small spoonfuls, add it to the pizza crust, then add the remaining 8 ounces of cream cheese to the crust as well. Add water chestnuts to the pizza. Place like pepperoni. Add remaining crab meat to the pizza. Sprinkle pizza with mozzarella.

To make the sweet and sour sauce: Add the sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch in a small saucepan and cook until boiling and thickened. Add 1/3 of the sauce to the pizza in small spoonfuls.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and dough is to desired crispiness.

Drizzle the top of the pizza with more sweet and sour sauce and add remaining green onions.

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Josie Mai is a culinary artist and in-home chef. See her on Facebook and Instagram as Josie Mai Personal Chef or at