Imitation crab sticks can do more than fill California rolls or kani salad. We use these tasty seafood snacks in two ways: first, pulled apart and fried into crisp, delectable crackers; second, chopped into a creamy baked dip to serve with the crackers. They’re a great addition to your next party spread.
For the crab stick crackers: Unroll and pull each crab stick into 1/2- to 1-inch-wide strips. Lay the strips out in a single layer, spacing them apart, between paper towels and firmly press down to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
For the crab dip: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Shred each crab stick by placing on a work surface and raking a fork along the length of the stick to create long strands. Chop crosswise into 1-inch lengths and set aside.
Combine the cream cheese with the mayonnaise and sour cream in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Stir in the Cheddar, Worcestershire, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sugar, pepper and juice of half a lemon. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sliced scallion greens for serving, then stir in the remaining scallions and the chopped crab sticks until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake until golden on top and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.
Working in three batches, gently toss a third of the crab stick strips with 1 tablespoon of the potato starch in a large bowl until lightly dusted. Drop each strip into the hot oil and fry undisturbed for 1 minute so the starch can firm up. Gently separate the strips from each other using tongs with a slotted spoon or spider. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Let cool completely.
Garnish the hot crab dip with the reserved scallion greens and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges. Serve the crab stick crackers with the dip and lemon wedges and enjoy.
The crab stick crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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