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