RECIPE + VIDEO | Celebrate Norfolk Festevents’ 46th annual Harborfest with our Coastal Crab Dip!

Coastal Crab Dip

America’s largest, longest-running, free maritime festival, the iconic Norfolk Harborfest® enters its 46th year in 2022, presented by Norfolk Festevents.

Celebrate this sea-centric fete with our COASTAL CRAB DIP, a delish dish to enjoy served with toast point or chips for dipping, or spread this on tortillas for a wrap, or enjoy as a spread on sandwiches, plus more! Enjoy this at home, or place in a cooler and take with you to the festival!

CRAB 101

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

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