My Mother’s Amazing Crab Dip

When I was nine, my mother and I moved to from Canada to a small historic town in Hawaii called Lahaina.   Lahaina had been a pleasure port for visitors since it’s days as a whaling ship port.   We lived at the hotel where my new step dad was the on call handyman, so we had a pool.   We hopped from bar to bar in on Friday nights watching the sun set, eating free pu-pus and ordering cocktails.  I favoured the virgin pina-colada and the Maui Sheraton cocktail lounge had the best view of the sunset and good sweet and spicy chicken wings.   My dad went net fishing with his local co-workers every Saturday night so our fridge was full of fresh fish all week.  We took a picnic to the beach every Sunday….poke (a Hawaiian salad made with raw fish and seaweed), taco (raw octopus with sweet miso sauce),  chips, carrot sticks and dip.  Sometimes we made sweet Maui onion dip and sometimes we made this  crab dip.

The original crab dip had crab, cream cheese, horseradish and toasted almonds.  I do not know where my mother got the original recipe but she quickly adapted it by replacing the horseradish with Thai sweet chili sauce which had become our new favourite condiment.  My mother’s amazing crab dip is excellent for a picnic, a cocktail party or just to have in the fridge to encourage the eating of vegetables.  I like to eat it with celery sticks and roasted asparagus.  I love to eat this crab dip not only because it is simple to make and crazy delicious, but also because it reminds me of a golden era of my childhood…my excellent new step dad, my mother in love and happy, our glamourous and fun-filled new life in Hawaii.


  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese
  • 2 drained 6 oz cans of crab  (you could use fresh crab if you are feeling flush)
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • Thai sweet chili sauce (to taste)
  • blanched, sliced almonds
  1. Toast the almonds in dry frying pan  over medium- low heat until they are golden brown.
  2. Stir the cream cheese, crab meat and lime juice together until totally combined.
  3. Add the sweet chili sauce 1/4 cup at a time, until it is hot enough for you.
  4. Top the dip with a layer of toasted almonds.
  5. Try serving this dip with raw celery sticks and roasted asparagus.

About Big Sis Little Dish

This is a blog run by two sisters. Erin is the big sister who lives in New York, and Silvi is the little sister who lives in Vancouver. They both love to cook! They created this blog to share and store recipes for the food they make.


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  2. Glenda Berry

    Hi Erin,
    Sweet! Those were the days, indeed! The original recipe is from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese cookbook, and was heated up under the broiler and served hot. In Lahaina one didn’t want to turn on the oven or eat anything hot. Love, Mum

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