Hari Kojima’s King Crab Dip good for crowd
Hari Kojima has been long gone from local television, but memories of his "Let's Go Fishing" and "Hari's Kitchen" shows from the 1980s and '90s remain strong.
The latest pinch from the past came from Curtis L. Ching, who is looking for Kojima's recipe for crab dip.
A recipe turned up in a cookbook that Kojima wrote with Muriel Miura in 1994, "Cooking with Hari & Muriel." The slim paperback, self-published and long out of print, opens with Kojima's familiar, "Hi Gang!"
Kojima left KHON and both his shows in 1998 and now works for the seafood wholesaler Fresh Island Fish. He's said he prefers to leave television to the new generation.
His dip is easy to assemble, using the creamy trio of cream cheese, mayonnaise and cream of mushroom soup. A bit of unflavored gelatin is added and it goes into a mold (a small Jello mold or mini-Bundt pan would produce a decorative end-product, although you could also just pack it into a bowl).
Let it set in the refrigerator, then unmold, surround it with crackers and make it the centerpiece of a finger-food table. It makes enough for a party. I'm thinking Super Bowl -- that's coming up soon.
To simplify, leave out the gelatin and simply place the dip in a bowl.
One tip: The most time-consuming part is grating a cup of celery. If you've never done this before (I hadn't), the advantage is that it gets rid of all the strings. The disadvantage is that celery is so watery and porous that the stalks sort of collapse against the grater and you've got to watch out for your knuckles. Lots of water comes out, so be sure to squeeze it dry before adding it to the crab mixture.
Also, obviously you get the best results with the best quality crab meat. You'll find a big price difference between the usual canned stuff, and premium chunky grades. The cheap stuff does produce a good dip, but if you want a hefty crab flavor to stand up to all that cream-cheesiness, you'll have to put up the bucks.
King Crab Dip
8 ounces cream cheese
1 14.5-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 8-ounce can crab meat, drained well
1 cup grated celery, with excess water squeezed out
7 stalks green onion, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 package unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons warm water
Melt cream cheese in sauce pan over low heat. Add soup and mayonnaise and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. (Or combine all 3 in large bowl and microwave 1 to 2 minutes.)
Stir in crab, celery, green onion and salt and pepper.
Dissolve gelatin in water and stir into crab mixture. Place in greased mold. Chill overnight.
Unmold onto platter and serve with crackers.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per 1/4 cup (not including salt to taste or crackers): 150 calories, 14 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 275 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, no fiber or sugar, 3 g protein.
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