The Ultimate Spicy Crab Dip

This is, without a doubt, the single most requested recipe I get asked to make by friends and family. My version of this Spicy Crab Dip is adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s original Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip recipe, to whom I am eternally grateful for creating this easy and delicious appetizer.  I have made it so many times now, that I have altered the quantity of some Emeril’s ingredients and the directions to what I think is ultimate perfection.  It turns me into the star of the party every time.

Ok, lets get down to it.  Selecting your crab.

You want a good crab dip? Use good crab. It’s just that simple.

I know this is not always possible for those of you who don’t have access to a good fish shop, but fortunately for me, we have several around these parts- which means fresh crab is the only acceptable option for me. And for that reason alone, I remain a coastal citizen.

Alright, fresh crab- check.

Now, what kind of crab to use? Claw, backfin, lump, jumbo lump. The options are overwhelming! Actually, no they are not. Let me repeat a little something I said earlier.

You want a good crab dip? Use good crab. It’s just that simple.

And so, jumbo lump is the way to go. Nothing makes a feaster more happy than getting a big ole’ meaty lump of fresh crab and only jumbo lump will do that. When jumbo isn’t an option, lump does job fantastically and what Emeril calls for in his original recipe, but avoid claw and backfin meat for this recipe. They do have their place in other recipes, but not this one.

Next, picking a hot sauce. When the recipe calls for hot sauce, use hot sauce- not Tabasco sauce, not Sriracha sauce. Got it? They are not the same thing! Tabasco nor Sriracha should ever be used as a substitute for hot sauce and vise versa in a recipe. They have different flavor profiles and their measurements do not equal each other. For example, a tablespoon of hot sauce is not equal to a tablespoon of Tabasco sauce in a recipe. So in order to achieve the desired result for this gem of a recipe, be sure to use a hot sauce like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or Chilula Original Hot Sauce. 

The rest of the ingredients are pretty straight forward and don’t require much introduction- mayonnaise, garlic, jalapeño jack cheese, pickled jalapeños and parmesan cheese. So there you have it- everything you need to make this amazing crab dip.

But… hold up a second. A dip is only as good as whatever you dip it with. The ‘dip’ and the ‘dipper’ need to be in perfect culinary harmony. So, no crackers, no chips, no vegetables here. This recipe needs homemade toast points.

The toasts used to take me a while to baste each one with just the right amount of olive oil and it was, simply put, a pain in the ass. I’ve since figured out a trick that makes these toasts super easy and quick to make, while also cutting out a few calories. Instead of basting the toasts in olive oil, I simply use a good olive oil spray. It works out brilliantly and I no longer have an excuse not to make them.

Well there you have it- how to make the best ever spicy crab dip. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and friends do.

Spicy Crab Dip

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb jumbo lump or lump crabmeat- drained, dried and picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp very small dice pickled jalapeños. (reduce to 1 tbsp for medium heat.)
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos, grated (I like Cabot brand for this)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, such as Franks Red Hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 french baguette, ends trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, jalapenos, Monterey jack cheese, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add crab and the mayo mixture. Stir in and gently break up the crab with the back of a fork. You want it to be mixed well with various size pieces of crab throughout.
  4. Once well incorporated, add the crab mixture to an oven proof 8x8 casserole dish.
  5. Use the back of a spoon or similar utensil to flatten and even out the mixture. Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly on top
  6. Put the crab dip in the oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just golden brown and edges are bubbly.
  7. While dip is baking, make your toast points as soon as your dip goes in the oven. To do this, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the bread slices on the baking sheet and spray them with olive oil spray. Sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper. Flip and repeat. Bake for about 5 minutes, flip and bake for another 5 minutes more, until lightly browned.
  8. Remove dip from oven and let rest for 5 minutes and serve with the toast points.