The Florida Keys have some of the best smoked fish dip you've ever tasted. It's creamy, spicy, and oh so flavorful. Made with smoked white fish, seasoned with Old Bay, Worchestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot pepper sauce, then held together with a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream, it's a little piece of appetizer heaven.
I love the Florida Keys! As I am lucky enough to live in South Florida, the Keys are somewhere close by where we can get away from it all. Long weekends and a week-long vacation in this paradise is always on our calendar. And one of the first appetizers I have to have, along with a mango pina colada, is their awesome Florida Keys Smoked Fish Dip.
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This smoked fish dip recipe is an easy appetizer to make. The hardest part is finding the smoked fish if you're not in an area with a lot of seafood. I've found frozen smoked whitefish in my local grocer but I've also used both fresh smoked salmon, which is more readily available, and smoked tuna fish in pouches. The best fish to use is a fatty fish, but almost any type of fish will work, as long as it has a hearty flavor to impart to the dip.
Best Smoked Fish for Dip
What is the best smoked fish for this fish dip recipe? Just take a look at this list and choose your favorite.
- Striped Bass
- Mahi Mahi
Best Crackers for Fish Dip
Next on the list for making this the perfect summertime appetizer is what crackers to use. It is traditionally served with Saltines in the Florida Keys but it works well with any whole wheat cracker or water cracker.
But you don't have to use crackers! I've had it with tortilla chips, pita bread, celery, and carrot sticks. Oh, and don't forget the beer!
If you need an excuse to visit Key West this smoked fish dip is it! And while there, a few of the best places to stop for a serving is Southernmost Beach Cafe, Hog's Breath Saloon, or Smokin' Tuna Saloon. Of course, just about any Key West restaurant worth their salt makes a fantastic fish dip. And it's not such a hardship to work your way through a taste-testing restaurant hop and judge for yourself.
And if you are making your way through the Keys, try the dip at Snooks Bayside Restaurant in Key Largo or Lorelei's Restaurant and Cabana Bar in Islamorada and enjoy the sunset at the same time.
How to Make Key West Smoked Fish Dip
There are just a few simple ingredients that are needed to make this awesome dip. Smoked fish, onions, red bell pepper, mayonnaise and sour cream combine with seasonings like Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke (optional) and hot pepper sauce then finish with a squeeze of lemon.
Place all ingredients in a food chopper or processor and whirl them together until smooth. You can even keep a small amount of smoked fish to the side and add after pureeing if you like a dip that is a little chunkier.
Puree until smooth. Now there's one beautiful fish dip ready for serving. I like to use a large lettuce leaf and scoop it into a mound and complete it with some jalapeno peppers on top.
Serve with a side of jalapenos as it lends the perfect heat to this cool, smoky dip. The dip will keep between 5-7 days in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months. Now you can enjoy this deliciousness all summer long. Perfect for the back porch, at the beach, or poolside.
More Summer Appetizers
Tomato Basil Bruschetta is a quick and easy appetizer featuring plump tomatoes tossed with olive oil and balsamic and flavored with garlic and basil.
Caprese Salad Skewers are an easy way to serve this popular salad. Just skewer cherry tomatoes, balls of mozzarella and basil leaves then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.
Grilled Fruit Kabobs with Chili Lime Vinaigrette from Went Here 8 This
Bacon-Wrapped Garlic Shrimp Crostini might sound like a mouthful, well it is, but it's simple to pull together. Spread guacamole on a toasty garlic bread round then grill some bacon-wrapped shrimp and set it on top. Amazing flavor in one-bite!
Florida Keys Smoked Fish Dip
- 2 cups smoked whitefish, about 1 lb.
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 4 drops hot pepper sauce or to taste
- 2 drops Worcestershire sauce or to taste
- 1-3 drops liquid smoke (only if needed as some smoked fish is stronger than others)
- 2 teaspoons minced sweet onion
- 2 teaspoons red bell pepper, minced
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Flake fish, being careful to pick out all the bones, and place in food processor with all remaining ingredients. Process til smooth.
- If you like your spread with a little more chunkiness just retain part of the fish aside and stir in afterwards.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.
- Serve with sides of sliced lemon, jalapeno slices, celery sticks, carrot sticks and crackers.
This post has been updated with new photos and instructions. It was first published on March 18, 2016.