A fun appetizer and dip to share! Made from kamaboko (fish cake), cream cheese, mayonnaise, and popular pantry items. Pair with crackers or chips.
Hooray for Kamaboko Dip!
You know all the popular dips...spinach dip, crab dip, 7-layer dip? Well in Hawaii we have Kamaboko Dip. It is onolicious.
Kamaboko (steamed Japanese fish cake) is the foundation of the dip. It's mixed with cream cheese, mayonnaise, water chestnuts, green onions, dashi powder, and sea salt to form a creamy, savory dip (with a bit of a crunch!)
We always pair this dip with Ritz Crackers ^_^
Kamaboko Dip In Hawaii
99% of the time when you eat kamaboko dip in Hawaii, it will be at a family or friends gathering like a party or potluck. Guarantee someone (usually your auntie or friend's mom) will bring a nice big serving of kamaboko dip and many of Ritz Crackers for dipping.
You can also buy kamaboko dip from places like Costco Hawaii. P.S. Definitely visit Costco Hawaii when you visit, our Costco locations carries many cool items that you won't find at any other Costcos.
Here's what you'll need:
- Kamaboko - Japanese steamed fish cake, sold in a log or black. More details on this below.
- Cream Cheese - We like the Philadelphia brand.
- Mayonnaise - We use Best Foods brand in Hawaii (we are crazy about Best Foods mayo on this island...more on this below!)
- Water Chestnuts - Diced water chestnuts give a nice, bright crunch to this dip. Use the leftover water chestnuts to make Pork Hash.
- Dashi Powder (or hondashi) - A tiny bit goes a long way. We alway keep a jar of dashi powder in the fridge because it can be used in so many other recipes like Scallops and Rice and Edamame and Hijiki Rice (both of which you can make directly in the rice cooker!), Hijiki Salad, Aburaage, and Simmered Daikon.
- Sea Salt - Use Hawaiian sea salt if you can, but no worries if no can.
- Green Onions
- Ritz Crackers - You can use any chip or cracker to accompany this dip, but Ritz Crackers are the "traditional" pairing.
This recipe require no actual cooking, and just 3 easy steps.
First Step. Grate (or finely chop) the kamaboko.
Second Step. Mix together in a mixing bowl: grated kamaboko, cream cheese, mayonnaise, diced water chestnuts, half the green onions, hondashi, and sea salt.
Place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
Third Step. Remove from the refrigerator, top with the remaining green onions. Serve with Ritz Crackers (or any chip/cracker you prefer). Eat and enjoy ^_^
Grating Versus Chopping Kamaboko
Definitely grate the kamaboko if you can.
Grating kamaboko can be a pain...be careful not to accidentally grate your fingers o_O. Why grate? Because it makes the kamaboko kind of sticky, and then it blends better with the other ingredients.
If you don't have a grater (or don't want to deal with cleaning it), just chop the kamaboko very, very finely. Chop it as tiny as you can get it.
Mixing The Green Onions
Some people like to mix all the green onions in at the beginning. You can do that, but it may make the dip a bit watery if you plan to keep it in the fridge for more than a day (eg. if you're making the dip a day in advance for a party).
I like to mix half the green onions in at the beginning and save the other half to top the dip right before serving. It also looks much prettier this way.
What Is Kamaboko?
Kamaboko is a steamed Japanese fish cake. It's pink and white and typically sold as a log or block. These are several local Hawaii brands that make kamaboko including Amano and Okuhara (pictured above).
About The Mayonnaise
You can use any brand of mayonnaise you prefer, but in Hawaii we always use Best Foods Mayonnaise. It's the same brand we use for our mac salad and basically anytime mayonnaise is featured in a local dish.
So if you want to nail the exact "local flavor" of this dish, do your best to get the Best Foods brand. Note: Best Foods is sold under the Hellmann's name on east of the Rocky Mountains (so random!)
Questions and Tips
Serve this fish cake dip chilled. Serve it with chips or crackers to dip. Ritz Crackers are traditional, but this goes good with all chips or crackers! You can even use it as a sandwich spread or serve it with celery or carrot sticks.
Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Yes! A few ideas:
- Add minced red onions.
- Add sour cream (reduce the amount of cream cheese and mayonnaise accordingly).
- Replace the dashi powder with garlic salt.
- Omit the dashi powder entirely.
You'd think this kamaboko recipe would be impossible to make without the main ingredient... But! You can actually substitute some or all of the kamaboko with shredded imitation crab meat.
Kamaboko Dip Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- Grate (or very finely chop) the kamaboko.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the grated kamaboko, cream cheese, mayonnaise, diced water chestnuts, half the green onions, dashi powder, and sea salt.
- Spoon into a serving bowl and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
- Top with the remaining green onions. Serve with Ritz Crackers (or any chip/cracker you like). Eat and enjoy! ^_^