A lighter, party-perfect version of a Pupu classic
Need a tasty nibble for New Year’s Eve? You’ve come to the right blog.
Crab Rangoon Dip channels the flavor of a classic deep-fried appetizer—but lets you skip the frying part. So it’s much easier to make, and far less caloric.
At your next party, just set out a bowl of this with some chips. Then watch the hungry hordes descend.
Recipe: Crab Rangoon Dip
Deep-fried Crab Rangoon is the star of the Pupu Platter—you know, the appetizer assortment that you’ll find at just about any Tiki- or Polynesian-themed restaurant (in the US, you’ll also see this dish at many Chinese-American restaurants). When we celebrated Tiki Month back in August, we explained how to make traditional Crab Rangoon—which is delicious, but heavy on the fat. It’s also not a make-ahead dish, since Crab Rangoon tastes best fresh from the deep fryer.
This quick dip features the same recipe we used for filling our deep-fried Crab Rangoon. But it cuts out the frying part. And you can make this dip hours ahead—great for when you’re planning a big party.
This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and yields about ¾ cup of dip (it’s easy to double or triple). Leftovers keep for a day or so if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (remove from refrigerator 30 minutes ahead)
- 3 ounces imitation crab or canned crabmeat (or more to taste; see Notes)
- 2 scallions (use all the white part and half the green part, reserving the rest of the green for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- chips for serving
- Half an hour before you plan to prepare this dip, remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator (you can use it straight from the fridge, but it’s easier to mix with other ingredients if it has time to warm up and soften a bit). Place the cream cheese in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Dice the crab finely, then add it to the mixing bowl. Using a sturdy spoon, combine the cream cheese and crab (if you double or triple the recipe, it’s easier to do this in a stand mixer).
- Wash, dry, and clean the scallions. Slice them thinly, reserving a bit of the the green part for garnish. Add the sliced scallions to the mixing bowl.
- Add the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce (if using) to the bowl, and mix together.
- You can serve this dip right away or prepare it a few hours ahead. (If you don’t plan on serving it immediately, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate). Serve the dip with your choice of chips. Sprinkle some green scallion bits on top of the dip for garnish, if desired.
- Imitation crab is the traditional “crab” ingredient for Crab Rangoon (yes, really). It’s usually sold in sticks or big flakes, and has a mild “crabby” taste. You’ll find it in the seafood section at your grocery store. It typically contains Alaska Pollock as the main ingredient (along with other ingredients). Some brands include a tiny bit of real crab.
- If imitation crab doesn’t sound appealing, you could substitute canned crab. I haven’t tried this option, but it sounds good.
- Of course, you can also use real crab. (Though again, I haven’t tried that.) Some cooks claim that the real stuff doesn’t taste as good in this dish as imitation crab. And of course, real crab is way more expensive.
- I suggest 3 ounces of crab to 4 ounces of cream cheese. But you may prefer a higher ratio of crab—so feel free to experiment.
“Yum,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “This tastes so much like the classic fried Crab Rangoon that we did during Tiki month.”
“I actually got the idea for this appetizer back then,” I said, “when we did Shrimp Toast Dip. I liked that a whole lot better than the greasy shrimp toast so many restaurants serve.”
“Those dishes would all make great appetizers for New Year’s Eve,” said Mrs K R. “Though my all-time favorite has to be Pimento Cheese. Followed closely by Candied Bacon.”
“Good choices, both,” I said. “Although that Smoky Salmon and Cream Cheese Dip might get my vote.”
“And don’t forget our classic California Clam Dip.”
“So many appetizers, so little time,” I sighed.
“And after all the eating we’ve done over the holidays, I don’t think we’ll be interested in pigging out for New Year’s,” said Mrs K R.
“Yeah, we’ll probably just make a few party-ready appetizers.”
“But we definitely have to include our Spicy Roast Chickpeas,” said Mrs K R.
“They’re in,” I agreed. “And what we don’t make for New Year’s, we can save for our Super Bowl party.”
“Ah, yes,” said Mrs K R. “Another year, another round of parties.”
“It’s the lot of the food blogger,” I nodded.
“Maybe we need some champagne to console ourselves,” said Mrs K R.
Indeed. Happy New Year!
You may also enjoy reading about:
California Clam Dip
Smoky Salmon and Cream Cheese Dip
Spicy Roast Chickpeas
Shrimp Toast Dip
Spiced Party Nuts
Homemade Chex Mix
Easy Cheese Straws
Or check out the index for more
Hi John , I can just taste this dip now and thanks , just in time for New Years Eve and of course I will serve the Candied Bacon (it's a secret weapon) :D Your cocktails and dips will make me the bell of the ball . Happy New Year John and Mrs. K R from my family to yours .... 'CHEERS'
Oh my - you have won my heart with this one John! I love those crazy things and I will be giving this a try for sure. All the very best to you and yours in this New Year ahead!
Hi Nee, that candied bacon really is a secret weapon! Happy New Year!
Ho Donalyn, nothing is as good as Crab Rangoon crisp and fresh from the fryer, but these are awfully good too. Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
I agree with you about the crispy fried Crab Rangoon, but this has to run a close 2nd. After all, the holiday madness has to stop somewhere. My daughter who will be hosting her first New Year party this year is going to love this recipe! I'm passing it on.
Love the fried stuff but this is easier and actually seems tastier to me. May have to put this on the New Year's Eve table. Thanks a bunch!
Gotta have an arsenal of quick and easy snacks for the new year's party and Super Bowl (plus, those are usually the one's that get eaten up first) and this one sounds perfect. Happy New Year to you and Mrs. KR!
Hi Karen, the holiday madness is such fun, but I agree it has to stop. Eventually. ;-) Hope your daughter enjoys the recipe, and thanks for the comment.
Hi Debra, we love having appetizers, and nothing but, on New Year's Eve! It makes for a fun evening. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pamela, we always come up with new appetizers each year for NYE, in addition to some old favorites. It's such fun! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
My father would love this dip, sharing the recipe with him today! Happy New Year!
We don't get this style (pupu) in Australia??
I had never heard of crab rangoon before, sounds delicious and really easy! Im off to check out the original version although I know I would make the low fat cab rangoon. I am not into calories where they aren't taste beneficial ;)
This sounds really, really good, John. Happy new year! : )
What a great idea to turn crab rangoon into a dip! So much easier to make than the traditional dip.
Happy New Year to you too. How incredible that a crab dip can be full of artificial crab! Is that what crab sticks are? Are they not actual crab? I had no idea. When I was growing up we had neighbours who used to come to our Christmas drinks and they would always arrive with a bowl of crab dip xx
Looks like a great dish but I think I will go with the real thing. We have that imitation stuff here too and I am very suspicious of it. I wonder what is in it.
Hi Pamela, hope your dad like it! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Hi Julie, the original fried crab rangoon is actually pretty good. But this does have loads fewer calories! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Lizzy, it's a fun dip! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
HI Laura, this really is a lot easier than the original recipe. And easy is (usually) good! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Charlie, yup, crab sticks are not crab. At least not in the US. I'm usually put off by artificial stuff, but make an exception for these. Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Hi Suzanne, real crab is so good I don't blame you for wanting it! Thanks for the comment.
Well, you two have drinks and nibblies all sorted! Happy New Year to you both!
A great selection of appetisers! We can throw an awesome party with just your appetisers and cocktails John! Looking forward to more great posts in the coming year, Happy New Year!
A great appetizer for any party...Happy 2014, John!
What a very tasty idea for a New Year's appetizer!!! My family's going to love it!
I love this dip, it sounds like it would be easy to make and it sounds like it would taste delightful. Wishing you a Happy New Year, John!
I can never have enough New years eve appetizers. Great recipe!
Hi Maureen, we do indeed have drinks and nibbles covered. Not to mention cookies. ;-) Happy New Year to you!
Hi Nazneen, we definitely can throw a great party with the drinks and appetizers we've done! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Hi Denise, isn't this nice? Happy New Year!
Hi MJ, it's really a fun appetizer - we love it! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Dawn, this is so simple to make - it takes no time at all. And tastes great! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Hi Jersey Girl, I know what you mean about not having enough appetizers. I'm the same way! Thanks for the comment.
Crab Ragoon gone dippy! I love it John!!! Some of those ol' classics are still the best! Thank you so much for sharing, John. A Healthy, Safe and Happy New Year to you and Mrs. K.R!
Hi Louise, isn't it fun making traditional dishes dippy? ;-) Thanks for the comment, and I hope you have a Happy New Year!
Oh, my. So simple, so irresistible! This one is getting pinned :) Happy New Year, John!
mm now i know how i can use p the remaining cream cheese!
I have only heard of Crab Rangoon. Your recipe makes it simple and the ingredients sound delicious... so this is on my list to try!
I love your recipes, this would be perfect for New Year's! I love dishes that I can make ahead like this one:) Happiest of New Year's.. but I'm sure we'll be visiting before then! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!
I love crab Rangoon so I know I would love this - Would love to try it with the real thing :-)
Love this crab rangoon dip! What a marvelous idea - thanks so much for sharing! I think I have A the ingredients in my fridge right now!
Hi Liz, isn't this nice? Simple subtle flavor that's straightforward and fun! Happy New Year!
Hi Amy, happy to help you with your leftover cream cheese problem! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Ansh, the fried version of Crab Rangoon is the classic, but this one is loads of fun. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Barbara, I love make ahead dishes too! Makes entertaining easy. ;-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Hi CJ, the real thing is probably better. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Shashi, isn't this dip fun? We love it! Thanks for the comment.
Uh, yes! This looks absolutely delicious.
Who doesn't love this? Crab rangoon is such a classic and now we have it in dip form! Not sure if I should thank you for that! Have a great new year, John!
Hi Candy, isn't this nice? Really good stuff! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Abbe, I know, it's probably wicked of me making a dip out of this stuff - who can resist?! ;-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
What a marvelous idea for a dip!! And just in time for New Year's parties!!
I love that this recipe specifically calls for imitation crab! The real stuff is so expensive! Thank you for sharing John. Looks too good!
Hi Ashley, isn't this nice? Perfect for New Year's. Speaking of which, Happy New Year!
Hi Monet, the imitation stuff is classic in this dish. And it works, so why mess with a good thing? Thanks for the comment (and Happy New Year!).
Happy New Year John and Mrs Riff! Now this is one fancy delightful crab dip and I believe you best get your share before the hungry hoards descend upon it. Thank you for a wonderful 2013 and looking forward to many more wonderful recipes from you this 2014. Take care, BAM
It will make a great snack for NYE party.
Crab ragoon is so delicious --- or at least i remember it being delicious the one time I ate it and discovered that crab makes my lips and face swell :-( So sad because this looks fantastic!! Perfect for a celebration!
Though I guess I'm safe with the imitation stuff, right?! :-)
I love your conversations with Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. They're my favorite part of reading your posts. Have a wonderful New Year. I'm guessing my husband will love this for an appetizer tomorrow. Easy to make too. Can't beat that!
Hi Bam, you're right that you need to get your share before other people see it, because it won't last! ;-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Hi Marta, it's perfect for NYE. Or breakfast. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amy, sorry to hear you're allergic! So you'd best skip this, alas. Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year.
Hi Amy, ooh, that's a good point! There's little, if any, real crab in the imitation crab stick you find in the supermarkets. Might be worth taking a tiny taste just to see what happens. Or maybe not - allergies can be serious things.
Hi Kristi, those conversations are fun to do! And they're remarkably true-to-life, too! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
What a great idea. Crab Rangoon is a favorite of mine but too much trouble most of the time. This is a wonderful substitute. Have a happy and blessed New Year!
Hi Chris, the dip is really good! It's lacks that sinfully crispy texture that the fried version has, but is much healthier. Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
wow this looks amazing. i've recently gotten into crabcakes.. can't believe i didn't eat them for so long. Looks amazing!
I'm all about recipes that can be prepared ahead of time when having a party. I'll be adding this to my next get together.
Hi Honey, crabcakes are wonderful, aren't they? This is fun - definitely worth a try. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Karen, I always try to prepare as much ahead as I can! Only way to stay sane when throwing a party, IMO. Thanks for the comment.
So now we can have our crab rangoon faster?
And in dip form?
How awesome is this?
Happy New Year to you, thank you for always leaving well-thought out comments on my blog. I do love a good comment or two :-)
Is this baked and served warm? I thought it was but then don't see baking temp or time? Thanks!
Hi Dawn, this is awesome, isn't it? ;-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Hi Diane, I serve this at room temperature or cold - no baking. I actually do yet another version of this same basic theme that's baked, but I'll be saving that for another time. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
this lip smacking scrumptious dip is indeed the best thing to grab on New Year's Eve,thanks for sharing this dish....HAVE A VERY VERY HAPPY,PROSPEROUS AND JOY FILLED NEW YEAR!!! :-)
Hi Kumar, thanks so much for those kind wishes, and I hope you and yours have an exceptionally wonderful New Year!
Hi John, Happy New year to you and your loved ones. Wishing you all the best in 2014.
Your crab Rangoon dip look mouthwatering. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe.
Have a great day ahead,regards.
Hi Ameiia, isn't this a nice dip? Happy New Year to you and yours!
When I lived in Boston many years ago, there was a famous Chinese restaurant that are famous for the crab Rangoon. Your post reminded me the pleasant experience I had with their dish. Yours sound so delish! Have a happy New Year and wishing you the best!
Hi Holly, glad to bring back happy memories! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
Thats a really nice dip!
Happy New Year! May you have more success this year on your blog :)
Hi Raymund, isn't this nice? Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
A wonderfuland festive dip!
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014!
Hi Rosa, it's really a nice little dip - loads of flavor! Thanks for the comment, and Happy New Year!
I just love think-outside-of-the-box dishes like this! I make crab rangoons for parties all the time but i never thought of serving in the dip form. Definitely a dish I am serving in my next party!! Thanks for this great idea!
Hi Yi, isn't this fun? This is a pretty basic dip, but once you make it I'm sure you'll figure out a way to kick it up a notch. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
What a great dip! I love ordering Crab Rangoon (love anything fried) at Chinese restaurants. Love the idea of making that into a dip. Genius!
Hi Anne, it's hard to beat the classic fried Crab Rangoon, but this is a nice, light dish with an awful lot of flavor! Thanks for the comment.
I have heard of this dip before but I can't recall where. First time I hear about crab imitation, it it like surimi rolls? We get those roll sin france and I was told that it's not really crab (whatever it is, it tastes great and I can't help myself). I believe we would love this asap!!
Hi Helene, yup, this is the same stuff they sometimes use in surimi rolls. Not crab, although it does taste a lot like it. And a lot cheaper! Thanks for the comment.
I LOVE this type of dips. I have a similar go-to recipe which I learned from my mom; what I love about yours is the Worcestershire sauce and the scallions, which I've never used. It sounds delicious.
Hi Alex, dips like these are so much fun! The Worcestershire in this is quite nice. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
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