Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet

Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to bubbly perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.

If you live near the Olive Branch, Mississippi or Memphis area chances are you may have visited the Hunan Chinese Buffet on Goodman Road, it’s the Mississippi hot spot for lunch after church and always packed. There’s a Crab Casserole on their American side of the buffet table that my mom loves so much. Every Sunday after church, she piles a little on her plate and devours it, proclaiming it to be good.

 

Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to a bubbly perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. I decided while my mom was at work, I would make the Copycat version of Hunan Chinese Buffet and surprise her tonight; it turned out delicious. It only took me about 40 minutes from start to finish to make it’s so quick and straightforward to put together and only needs to bake for 30 minutes.

Let’s talk a bit about the ingredient crab, at Hunan they use imitation crab meat; now, some of you are wondering what exactly imitation crab meat is? Is it fake meat? What is it made from? Some of you think oh, heck no, I’m not about to eat imitation crab meat, heck to the NO!

 

 

 

Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to a bubbly perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.For those of you wondering what imitation crab meat is made from: Imitation Crabmeat is processed seafood made of starch and finely pulverized white fish, aka surimi, then shaped and cured to resemble the meat of snow crab or Japanese spider crab. Compared to real crab meat, imitation crab has less fat and calories. However, it may also contain sodium, food coloring, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Pyrophosphate, gluten, and sugar.

Now, what are my thoughts on this? I think everyone should make their own food choices; however, I like to keep you informed on ingredients Y’all; as you know from following this blog. By all means, if you enjoy imitation crab and it is more cost-efficient, who am I to tell you to pay through the nose for lump crabmeat? Use either-or.

 

 

 

Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to a bubbly perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.In the recipe below, you can easily use either lump crabmeat or imitation crabmeat whichever fits your budget, or you enjoy most Y’all. At the Hunan Buffet, they use the imitation crab meat, and my mom loves it, so for her, I have made my Copycat Crab Casserole using imitation crab meat, you can use whichever you prefer in yours.

 

 

 

Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to a bubbly perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.

 

 

 

Suggested Canned Lump Crab Meat to use

  1. Miller’s Select Claw Crab Meat
  2. Crown Prince Fancy White Crab Meat
  3. Chicken of the Sea Fancy Crab Meat
  4. Consul Crab Meat
  5. Bumble Bee Crab Meat
  6. Phillips Foods Super Lump Crab Meat
  7. Lump Blue Crab Meat
  8. Premium Lump 
  9. Reese Fancy 15% Leg Crabmeat
  10. Vital Choice Wild Dungeness Crab

 

 

 

Different types of canned crab meat

  • Colossal Lump Crab Meat– it is the master of them all and is simultaneously the most expensive one in the market. The reason why it gets so heavy on your pocket is the extinction of blue crabs, which are quite challenging to find out nowadays.
  • Jumbo Lump Crab Meat – this one fits like an excellent dining option. You will here have to pay more for it as it is the big hunk of white meat that comes with very few cartilage and shells. They take extra care and remove this unwanted part before packing the crab can.
  • Backfin also called the Backfin Lump– This is extracted from the same body parts of the crab-like jumbo one, but here the lumps are broken. In this, you will find some large as well as some small pieces of the meat. You will also have more shells and cartilages mixed in.
  • White Meat or Special – This one is quite a great combination of jumbo lump blue crab along with some claws and is generally flaked. As the claws are present, it has got some sweet-filled flavor in it.
  • Claw Meat- this one has got a rich, delicious flavor that you won’t find in other parts

 

 

 

 

4.95 from 34 votes
Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to a bubbly perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning.

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: Copycat, Crab, Crab Casserole
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 230 kcal
Author: hmccallum
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces of lump or imitation crab meat
  • 2 cups of shredded raw cabbage
  • 1/4 of a cup of thinly sliced celery
  • 1/8 of a cup of diced red bell peppers
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of mild cheddar cheese
  • 8- ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 of a cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 of a cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium glass bowl combine crab meat. shredded cabbage, celery, diced red bell peppers, 1 cup of mild cheddar cheese, softened cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, juice of 2 lemons, soy sauce, garlic powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Prepare a glass baking dish with cooking spray, then add combined ingredients to baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese, then cover the baking dish with foil.
  4. Place in a preheated 350-degree oven and bake 30 minutes.
  5. Serve while still hot with crackers, bread, or by itself as a side dish to your meal.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

 
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35 thoughts on “Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet”

  • This was a great recipe! I made it and it turned out fantastic! Thanks for sharing I will be saving this to make again.

  • Thanks for the recipe. I did a few tweaks. I skipped the cabbage. My local buffet doesn’t have it in their version, so I wanted to mimic theirs since I really like it. I added some extra celery instead. Also, my place uses more mayo. I didn’t increase it in this batch though Again, everyone’s local place is different. Just sharing what my place does in case others want to tweak theirs. Overall, VG+. Thanks for posting it.

  • Do you think folding in egg whites into the recipe the next time I make it would add a souffle type softness to it? I really enjoyed it but wanted to try something else with it.

    • Good evening, Becky. This recipe is a copycat recipe for Hunan’s Buffet. I don’t think that doing or adding the eggs that would benefit their method in any form — best of luck to you in your endeavors. Unfortunately, I do not think your idea would enhance this recipe.

      Have a beautiful night

  • I was just wondering if the cabbage still is tough after cooking it?
    Thanks in advance. I will come back to let you know how it turned out but it looks awesome.
    Becky

    • Good morning, Becky.
      The answer is no the cabbage will not be tough. Shredded cabbage usually isn’t tough, to begin with—hence coleslaw. The cabbage comes out perfect.
      Thanks for dropping by and asking
      Heidy

  • Just genius – Never have I substituted cabbage for pasta. I added cauliflower to your recipe – wonderful!

    • Hey there, Amy Jo, actually I have never thought of it myself. This recipe doesn’t actually sub cabbage for pasta, it’s a copycat recipe from a Chinese Buffet. However, that may well be an idea lol! Good thinking. I really appreciate you dropping by to share your experience and idea. Have a wonderful day.

  • Perfect reply. Now, what would you recommend that I serve with it? I love the recipe by the way it was awesome. I just don’t know what I should make with it.
    Thanks

    • Good morning Marcia, usually when I make it we sometimes serve Beef and broccoli, Chinese Chicken Wings, Asian Noodles, potstickers, etc just a random Asian-Style menu.
      I have also used it as an appetizer and served with tortilla chips which went over great.
      I would serve Asian based items that you enjoy eating and or making.

      Hope that helps you!
      Have a great day!

  • Okay so I came upon this recipe while searching for a crab rangoon recipe to make for my son. Since the ingredients were somewhat similar except for the wonton skins, I figured I would give it a try. I mixed all the ingredients and was a little skeptic at first. It doesn’t look like rangoon filling at all when it’s uncooked. Popped it into the oven and waited. I took the foil off the last 5 minutes to brown and get bubbly. Finally, it was done and I took it out. Wow! I could never even imagine how good this would taste! My whole family dug into it with tortilla chips. They could not stop! I wish I could post a photo of it to share it’s delectable beauty! This is going into my party recipes as a definite must serve! My husband does not like imitation crab and was making faces while I was mixing it. The face he had on when he tasted the finished product…priceless! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  • I made the crab casserole from Hunan Buffet. I loved it but my wife isn’t into imitation crab. I bought the crab meat and realized it was only an 8 oz pack so I went to the local seafood market and got 1/2 lb. popcorn shrimp (already shelled and cleaned). My dish must have been too small because I cooked it for close to an hour before I felt it was cooked enough in the middle. I did like it and will like the left-overs tomorrow.

  • Oh wow, Heidy…this was so, so good. I can see why it would be the tradition to go to Hunan Chinese Buffet every Sunday for this beauty. Personally I made it with the real crab as it is definitely worth the price. Plus I’m not a big fan of the texture of imitation crab (or thought that colorants are used to give it the look of crab). Saving this recipe to make again.

  • I have to be honest and say I prefer the real crab meat you suggested to use. But like you– I believe everyone should make their own food choices and it’s not my place to judge. Great tasting dish!

    • I do prefer lump crab too, so yummy! However, have you seen the price lately? 29-35 dollars for 16 ounces—whew that hurts my wallet just typing it lol!! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.

      Hugs
      Heidy

  • A creamy dip with a crispy cheese topping is my idea of heaven. I love that you tried to recreate a restaurant favourite! It turned out so good.

  • This imitation crab was the perfect thing to use – this dip really is a Saturday night telly comfort food extravaganza. We will be making it again.

  • In my country, we can’t even get a lump of normal crab meat. Shops are not selling it. What we always call “crab” is this imitation. I love it. Thanks for the delicious recipe!I will be making it again

  • I love imitation crab meat and I’m not embarrassed to admit it, haha. I always prefer real crab in things like crab cakes, but for stir fries or casseroles – imitation all the way! This was a great recipe.

  • What an interesting recipe! I’ve never seen anything like this but it was tasty and I’m sure your mom was delighted you made her a homemade version!

    • Thank you, Corina, she loves this stuff so much. I prefer mine with lump crab but she loves the other so I made her a nice healthy casserole of it. Try it with either or it’s really good. Thank you for stopping by!!

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