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South Florida Smoked Fish Dip

This smoked fish dip recipe is like crack rock in a jar!

This smoked fish dip recipe is like crack rock in a jar!

Smoked fish dip is a an old school Florida tradition. If the rumors are true, S. Florida was once dotted with smoked fish huts that existed soley for the purpose of smoking fish and selling fish dip. My neighbor Dan’s family used to own one of these fish smokin’ shacks until about 30 years ago so he now does his fish smoking in his back yard. Lucky me, about once a month he brings over smoked mullet, marlin and sailfish which make wonderful fish dip. Scott calls my dip “crack” because it is that good and addicting. My recipe is a derivation of Dan’s family recipe.

Keep in mind that if you don’t have these types of smoked fish available (marlin, sailfish, mullet) that you can substitute other kinds of smoked fish you can find at your local seafood shop.


  • 6-8 ounces smoked fish, skin remonved, meat chopped in coarsely (so as not to burn out the motor on your food processor!)
  • 1/2  block neufchatel cream cheese (neufchatel is lower in fat and you can’t tell the difference in this recipe)
  • 2 jalapenos
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup light mayo (or less, depending on how wet your mixture is and how well it is blending)
  • salt, pepper to taste

Puree ingredients in a food processor until well blended. I like to make mine almost whipped so as to easily spread on crackers.

This dip is so good, you may eat the whole batch in one sitting! Enjoy!

My friend Eric agrees that smoked fish dip is the perfect snack for day sail on Biscayne Bay.

My friend Eric agrees that smoked fish dip is the perfect snack for day sail on Biscayne Bay.

Miami race week, March 2010

Miami race week, March 2010

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17 Responses to South Florida Smoked Fish Dip

  1. Baby bedding April 5, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Great, I love fish recipes. I’ll enjoy this very much. Thanks, Adam

  2. bukmacher June 1, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    Great info, thanks for useful article. I am waiting for more

  3. Duchh Muller June 2, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    Keep working ,great job!

  4. stan August 2, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Nice, looks tasty!

  5. Richard September 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Wow! What a fantastic recipe. I made it today and I loved it. I’ll probably make this really often. Thanks.

  6. Karen November 15, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Just had the smoked fish spread at the Friendly Fisherman at John’s Pass and it was absolutely wonderful. Would love to have their recipe. I’m wondering if the recipe above will taste like the one at the friendly fisherman? I live in St. Louis and don’t know where to get smoked fish. Gonna find out! Thanks for this site! Karen

  7. Robyn November 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Hi Karen,

    I make my dip out of smoked marlin or kingfish but I believe on the west coast they make theirs out of smoked mullet.

    Usually, after having dip at restaurants, I still find my recipe to be a step above the rest as the lime zest and old bay and jalapenos really add a lot of flavor.

    You could probably try this recipe with any smoked fish you can find and try it that way.

  8. Victoria Allman November 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Yum! I just made this today with smoked fish from a friend and LOVED it. The whole bowl is gone. Must make more!
    Thanks for a great post.

  9. Robyn November 20, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Awesome! That stuff is like crack rock! :) Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  10. curt August 31, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    Good recipe! I was wondering how long this dish keeps in the refrigerator. should dish be thrown out after about 3 days or so?

  11. Cilla September 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    If you ever get the chance to go to Cedar Key, FL it is just like you described. Fish huts all along the downtown, and you just inhale that fabulous smell of fresh smoked mullet. It’s a must see, tiny town but so worth the drive. Totally authentic old Florida. Go to Tony’s for clam chowder that is amazing (and you can get a frozen bucket to go) and get smoked fish dip at the produce stand on the way into town. Five generations of my family is from there!

  12. Robyn September 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I’ve heard great things about Cedar key!! Id love to go there. Smoked fish dip is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.

  13. Mikey June 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    I love your recipe and I add Chopped up Vidala onions and it is heaven!!

  14. Nancy Long July 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    we love smoked fish spread – how do you think it would be w/o the spicy peppers? We are mtg some friends on Marco Island next week and she can’t eat spicy food, but loves fish and shellfish

  15. Robyn July 27, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    I think it would be fine without the peppers. You may want to add more black pepper if no jalapenos. Let me know what you think!

  16. Natasha October 4, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    This is truly the best smoked fish dip recipe. I made it for a family and friend get together a few years ago with some mullet my brother caught. Since then, people bring me mullet to make it for them. I’m making a big batch today to distribute! Yum! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

  17. Robyn October 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    So glad you are enjoying the recipe Natasha! Similarly, I have a pair of friends from San Francisco and everytime they come visit they request I make this, and then they ask for more so they can take it home with them… :)

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