RECIPE + VIDEO | Coastal Crab Dip

By Patrick Evans-Hylton 

Although the 45th Annual Norfolk Harborfest: Music, Food & Maritime Festival has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, the iconic festival will live in spirit this year through a series of digital content throughout the June 11-13 weekend. For more on Norfolk Festevents, visit 

Celebrate the rich history of region by enjoying a small gathering of friends in the backyard for eats and imbibes (try our NFK Sea Dog Grog or a wonderful Virginia wine). Our Coastal Crab Dip is perfect for the occasion.

What crabmeat to use in the dip? Here’s some guidelines:

Backfin – large pieces of white meat from the backfin cavity, smaller than jumbo lump; often used in crabcakes, sautéed crab, crab cakes, salads, dips, and garnishes.

Claw meat – meat from crab claws, usually dark and rich; often used in soups, stews and crabcakes.

Jumbo lump – large nuggets of meat from the body cavity; often used in sautéed crab, crabcakes, salads, dips and garnishes. 

Lump – Smaller, but still whole nuggets of crabmeat; often used in sautéed crab, crabcakes, salads, dips and garnishes. 

A note on ingredients: 

+ Use Virginia crabmeat from local crabbers and fishmongers. We like to shop at Wicker’s Crab Pot ( in Chesapeake.

+ Our pick for hot sauce is Virginia Beach-based Speedy’s #44 from Speedy’s Hot Sauce (

+ Our favorite Worcestershire sauce by far is Virginia Beach-based Black Shire Garlic ( 


2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped, chives

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash hot sauce

1 pound fresh backfin or lump crabmeat

Smoked paprika or seafood seasoning


In a large bowl, add cream cheese and yogurt and stir until incorporated. Add the chives, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and hot sauce and stir to blend. Gently fold in crabmeat until blended and transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour; can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Before serving, garnish with a light sprinkling of smoked paprika or seafood seasoning and a few whole chive leaves. 

Serve with sliced and toasted baguette, crackers, or cucumber slices. 


Patrick Evans-Hylton is Norfolk Festevents’ culinary advisor, a Johnson & Wales-trained chef and an award-winning food journalist covering tasty trends since 1995 in print, broadcast and electronic media. He is publisher of 

Join the Virginia Eats + Drinks Facebook group at 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s