I have been craving jalapeno poppers ever since last Saturday when some friends brought a batch to our tailgating event for the Oakland A’s vs. San Francisco Giants baseball game in Oakland. That day, we had a wonderful time filled with the most delicious grilled food ever, and we were even lucky enough to have the beautiful weather last the entire day! Plus, intergroup Bay Area team rivalry, a game of whiffle ball, and half melted ice cream cones called for an irrefutably glorious time.
So, with the taste of those dynamic poppers still lingering in my thoughts, I had to make some more before my mind went crazy thinking about them all day long. Spicy and crunchy with a warm cream cheese filling…yum. Although the ones we had at the tailgating event were stuffed with A’s themed cream cheese (made with yellow food coloring), wrapped in bacon, and then grilled (really, who could ask for more?!), I decided to make some poppers that were a little different than those. You see, not only was I craving these bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers from the game but I’ve also had an on-going craving for the poppers I’ve tried at a couple Japanese restaurants as well! The ones from the restaurants have crab in them along with a couple of sushi sauces drizzled over the top.
So, I combined the two variations! I made the filling with crab, cream cheese, and green onions. Then I coated the top in panko bread crumbs and baked them in the oven. After they were finished baking, I drizzled homemade “eel sauce” and a simplified “dynamite sauce” (both of which are sometimes served over sushi) on them and sprinkled on some more green onions to top it off. I was really satisfied with the outcome of the dish! I just wish I had some bacon on hand to throw into the mix as well…that would have made them perfect.
Here is a picture of the incredibly satisfying poppers that initiated these intense cravings! Seriously, green and yellow themed food to support the Oakland A’s–my friends are beyond awesome.
Here are some more pictures from our day spent at the stadium before the game started:
Anyway, although I came as a Giants fan, I must give it to the A’s fans in our group for bringing the best themed dishes!! It was such a fun event for everyone! Except for the part when the Giants lost…
But I digress.
Basically, I feel like I will be craving jalapeno poppers for a very long time now. But these have definitely satisfied my craving! Here is the recipe:
Crab and Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
4 jalapenos sliced in half lengthwise with all of the insides removed (seeds included!)
4 oz (about half a package) of cream cheese
3 oz of crab meat
1 Tablespoon of finely diced green onion (plus more for garnish)
Panko bread crumbs
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash each jalapeno and slice in half lengthwise. Remove all the insides from the peppers (especially the seeds!). When doing this, you might want to wear gloves or be careful not to touch your face because it stiiiiings! In a bowl, mix together the crab meat, cream cheese, and green onions until they are nicely incorporated.
Fill each pepper with the cream cheese mixture until they are nice and full. Place a generous amount of panko bread crumbs into a bowl, and with one pepper at a time, dip them (cream cheese side down) into the bread crumbs so the entire top of each pepper is nicely coated. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and lay the jalapenos on it. Then lightly spray the top of the bread crumbs with the non-stick cooking spray. Bake for about 40 minutes!
“Eel Sauce” Recipe*
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup of mirin (I used dry sherry plus and extra tablespoon of sugar)
1/4 cup of sugar
In a pan, combine the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a light boil so all the sugar is incorporated and entirely dissolved. Then lower the heat to medium-low (letting it simmer), and reduce the sauce until it starts to thicken. Remember, the sauce will thicken even more as it cools so you should stop cooking it right when you see it start to thicken up! If it’s still too runny, then you can heat it up again for a little longer. Then set sauce aside to cool.
*I’m not sure why it’s called eel sauce since the recipe doesn’t call for eel. Anyone know? Well either way, upon diligent research (AKA lots of “Googling”) this seems to be the common recipe for it. It really makes a great dipping sauce!
Simplified “Dynamite Sauce” Recipe**
3 Tablespoons of light mayonaise
3/4 Tablespoon of Sriracha
Mix together until the two are fully incorporated.
**This is a simplified version of the dynamite sauce served over sushi. Sometimes it’s called orange sauce or volcano sauce. It’s usually made with Japanese mayonaise, Sriracha, and sometimes sesame oil is added as well. This simplified recipe does the trick for me though. For this recipe, I used less Sriracha as to not make the poppers too spicy! The amount of spice is up to you though–add less if you just want to taste the coolness from the creamy mayonaise or add more if you want a nice kick!
Take the two sauce, drizzle over the jalapeno poppers, sprinkle with freshly chopped green onions, and enjoy!