Recipe: How to Make Hank’s Oyster Bar’s Crab Dip

Chef Stephen Taylor's dish showcases late-summer crab.

Hot Crab Dip with tortilla chips.

There’s nothing fancy about the crab dip from Hank’s Oyster Bar chef Stephen Taylor. The Chesapeake Bay native started making it as a teenager while working at a restaurant near Ocean City, Maryland, and simply mixes sweet lump crab, preferably local, with the right amount of seasoning and melty cheese. Taylor says it’s even tastier if you make the dip a day in advance—just let it get to room temperature before sticking it under the broiler.


Serves 6

  • ½ medium Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, preferably Frank’s
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons dry mustard, preferably Coleman’s
  • 2/3 cup shredded white cheddar, plus more for topping
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, or a mix of claw and lump, cleaned and shelled
  • Crusty French bread, tortilla chips, or cucumber slices for scooping


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions in oil until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Season with salt and Old Bay. Add the wine and cream and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add in the cream cheese, hot sauce, Worcestershire, lemon, and dry mustard. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes to incorporate all the ingredients—you want the texture to be smooth and creamy. Stir in the ⅔ cup shredded cheddar until it’s slightly melted. Remove mixture from the heat and gently fold in the crab.

Turn the broiler to low. Pour the dip into an oven-safe baking dish and top with extra shredded cheddar, adding just enough to cover the surface. Broil until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately with bread, chips, or cucumber slices.

This article appears in the September 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.