No carp jokes, please – smoked copi dip is a holiday treat

(Bill Key)

We’ve been eating invasive carp for a long time at our house. It’s all part of being a river rat and not letting anything go to waste. Consequently, long before DNR launched its rebranding and marketing of invasive carp as Copi, it was a staple in our house.

Smoked carp dip is one dish that has always been a favorite and frequently requested for holiday potlucks and gatherings. So much so that I often smoke a bunch at once and then flake, debone, vacuum seal, and freeze it, so I have it ready for those last-minute requests  and gatherings

Here’s where I have to get on my soapbox about Copi! We import approximately  6 billion pounds of seafood into this country each year. So much of that seafood is farmed in atrocious conditions. If American consumers actually realized the horrifying conditions and lack of oversight for these aquaculture products, they would likely revolt and refuse to touch that imported seafood. But Copi – is one of the healthiest fish to consume; it grows right here in the US in clean rivers, streams, and creeks. You can either catch and clean yourself throughout the Midwest or purchase it. When you purchase Copi, you know it’s been processed in USDA-inspected facilities. I strongly encourage everyone to give Copi a try. You’ll be surprised how easily it lends itself to various recipes and flavor profiles. Let us not forget that it’s healthy and good for you!

Now on to the good stuff! A delicious smoked carp dip that’s sure to be a hit at any holiday gathering. Serve it with crackers, bagel chips, and crostini – the possibilities are endless!


2 cups flaked smoked and deboned Copi

5 tabelspoons sour cream

2 tablespoons  mayonnaise

4 finely minced green onions

¼ cup finely chopped celery

hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Worcestershire sauce, or to taste

4  drops liquid smoke flavoring (Optional)

1 good sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.

(For a more healthy dip, substitute regular sour cream and mayonnaise with fat-free.)

Smoking bone in Copi fillets is easy – just coat in your favorite rub, then place on the smoker at 225 degrees F  for 2 – 2.5 hours or until cooked through and flaky. Let it cool, then flake and remove bones. It will take about 1.5 – 2 pounds of Copi fillets to make the two cups of prepared flaked carp.

To make this delicious dip, simply mix all ingredients together and chill. If you prefer a smoother, less chunky dip, place all ingredients in a food processor and give a few pulses until it reaches desired consistency.

That’s all there is to it! You can experiment with different flavor profiles in your rub and seasoning the dip. I sometimes shake it up with a more green and citrusy flavor profile. Sometimes I add in some red pepper flakes and spice it up. That’s the great thing about Copi – it has a mild nonfishy flavor that lends itself to any flavor profile you enjoy.

If you are unsure where to obtain Copi, visit the Copi Website and look under the “Fish near me” tab.

You won’t be disappointed! You just may start a new holiday tradition of including a tasty dish that helps with conservation!

Categories: — — Illinois – Gretchen Steele, Blog Content, Bloggers on Cooking, Cooking

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