During Thanksgiving week we took a break from all the Turkey and stuffing (though not completely!) and ventured into the world of live seafood. One evening Sam brought over two clawing lobsters, which were destined to end up on our salad plates. We compared many lobster salad recipes at epicurious.com and decided on this one, which has an Asian flair. Cooking the live lobster was surprisingly simple: drop it into a pot of boiling water, let it boil for 4 minutes, then plunge it into an ice bath. It took more time to muster the courage to put the live lobster into the pot than to actually cook it. After just four minutes, the lobster turned bright red—it was cooked. With various kitchen tools including a nutcracker, Sam set to work releasing the tender white flesh from its rigid red shell. 15 minutes later, the lobster was ready to be added to the salad. In the meantime, I had made a dressing, grilled Shiitake mushroom caps and fried slices of garlic. We assembled the ingredients on a platter and voila! our fabulous lobster salad was ready for the dinner table. A lively kick from the spicy lemon dressing, a crunch from the garlic chips and a deep, full-bodied flavor from the grilled Shiitakes were brilliant complements to the bright, clean lobster. Instead of gawking at the live lobsters in the tank at the market, go ahead and take one home. You just might become a fan of this lobster salad.
Serves 4 as an entree.
For Spicy Lemon Dressing
1/4 cup (50 ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
1/4 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, passed through a sieve
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
a little freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
For Lobster Salad
1 fresh lobster
vegetable oil for deep-frying
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
5 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
3 ounces (80 g) assorted salad greens (i.e., mizuna , rocket leaves, baby spinach, mustard greens, lollo rosso lettuce, tomyo pea sprouts, Swiss chard)
1/4 cup (50 ml) spicy lemon dressing
Combine all the ingredients except the oil. When the salt is fully dissolved, add oil.
1. Have ready a large saucepan of boiling water (enough to cover the lobster) and a bowl of iced water. Add a pinch of sea salt to the boiling water and scald the lobster over high heat for 4 minutes. Plunge the lobster into the iced water, then remove the meat from the shell. Cut into bite-size pieces.
2. Bring about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil in a small saucepan to 320°F (160°C). Deep-fry the garlic slices until crisp.
3. Brush mushroom caps with grapeseed oil and lightly grill.
4. Arrange the salad greens, mushrooms, and lobster on a serving dish. Pour the Spicy Lemon Dressing over all and garnish with the garlic chips.
Recipe from Epicurious.com.