Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lobster Bowl

For Liv's 30th birthday today (and my 31st birthday tomorrow) we decided to splurge for some lobster. As it turns out we didn't have to splurge much at all. This afternoon I went to our nearest Super H Mart to scope out the seafood/lobster selection and much to my very pleasant surprise they were having a one day sale (you'd think I was at Macy's) on lobster! I picked up a few of the big live bugs for only $4.99 per pound. Incredible. At prices like that I felt at ease experimenting a bit tonight for dinner and I did an Asian-style lobster bowl with dashi broth, organic udon noodles, tobiko (flying fish roe), enokitake mushrooms, scallions, and baby bok choy. Dashi broth is kind of like the chicken stock of the Asian world. It is used often in all kinds of dishes and you have most certainly had it in miso soup.

I steamed the lobsters over a bed of seaweed. Seaweed is very cheap and very easy to come by in any Asian grocery store. Steaming is a little cleaner than boiling them because you don't have to deal with large amounts of hot lobster-y water and steaming produces a better final product as well, in my opinion. I steam for 10 minutes per pound and these lobsters were all about 1 pound each. You can do the math.

After steaming I separated all the lobster meat from the sharp, menacing shells. Little bastards can give serious cuts sometimes! Fortunately I escaped with no bloodshed tonight.

After the meat is removed from the shells and the shells are tossed in the trash, be sure and double or even triple bag your garbage. If you have never smelled shellfish stink after a few summer days in your hot garage... well... just take my word for it and double bag the garbage and seal it well. After the cooked lobster is separated, you're free to do as you please; it is really quite a versatile protein.

For our dish tonight I sauteed the bok choy with some scallion whites and garlic while the udon noodles boiled. At the last second I reheated the cooked lobster meat in the homemade dashi broth and when the noodles were done, everything was ready to be plated. I took the lobster knuckles and the little leg meat and placed it in the bottom of the bowl. On top of that came the noodles and then I ladled the dashi broth over everything. The tail meat, the claws, the enokitake mushrooms, the orange tobiko roe, and the bok choy were placed on top. A drizzle of sesame oil and some soy sauce if you please and you have a really nice dinner.

We paired our lobster bowl with a Grenache Blanc from Consilience. The wine was recommeded by my good friend Lloyd Irving at Old Milton Package in Alpharetta.