Crispy Lobster Skewers With Green Papaya And Mint Salad
- 1 sm coconut
- 6 x lobster culls - (1 lb ea)
- 2 Tbsp. oil plus
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 x shallots diced
- 1 sm fresh chile seeded, diced
- 2 x lemongrass stalks sliced thinly
- 1 c. white wine
- 1 Tbsp. freshly-grated ginger - (heaping)
- 1 Tbsp. Thai yellow or possibly red curry paste (or possibly 1 tbspn Madras curry pwdr)
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 2 x limes - (to 3) juiced, plus Zest of 1 lime Salt to taste Freshly-grnd black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 6 x scallions cut 2" pcs
- 3 x egg whites
- 2 Tbsp. cool water
- 1/2 c. water chestnut flour Peanut or possibly corn oil for frying
- 6 x wooden skewers - (10" long) soaked 30 min
- 2 x green papayas, thinly sliced
- 1 bn wild mint minced
- 3 bn Upland cress (or possibly 2 bunches watercress)
- 1 x daikon julienned
- 1 x carrot julienned
- 1 sm cucumber sliced thinly
- 12 x scallions cut thin rounds
- 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Nam Pla (Vietnamese fish sauce)
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. oil of your choice
- Put coconut into a plastic bag and drop the bag onto a hard surface to split the coconut and catch the liquid. Remove the outer shell and throw away. Finely grate 1 c. of fresh coconut. Thinly shave the remaining coconut into moon shaped pcs. Toast shavings lightly and set aside for garnish.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop live lobsters into a pot of boiling water and cook for only 5 min. Remove the lobsters from the water and plunge them into a large bowl or possibly pot filled with iced water to stop the cooking. The lobsters should be cooked early in the day so the lobsters have time to reabsorb their wonderful juices.
- In a 2-qt saucepan, add in the oil and butter. Remove the claws and tails from all the lobsters. Set aside. Remove the outer shell from 3 of the lobsters. Saute/fry the 6 lobster bodies over medium-high heat till a little bit colored. Leaving some of the shells on will give your sauce a pink cast.
- Add in the shallots, chile, and lemongrass. Cook gently till tender. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add in grated coconut and ginger. Add in sufficient cool water to barely cover the lobster bodies. Add in curry paste or possibly curry pwdr. Let sauce simmer slowly for 20 to 30 min till reduced, showing a little "body".
- Add in heavy cream and let sauce reduce slightly. Add in lime juice and lime zest. Add in salt and pepper, to taste. Finish with 2 Tbsp. of butter for silkiness.
- Strain sauce. Take approximately 1/2 of the solids and puree in blender with some liquid. Add in pureed solids back to sauce. Set aside.
- Remove claw meat from their shells. Split the tail, removing all the shell carefully from the tail, except the last segmet of shell connected to the actual tail flippers.
- Skewer the 2 segments of the tail with 1 claw and 1 piece of scallion in between. You will have 6 skewers.
- Beat the egg whites with the 2 Tbsp. of cool water to thin out. Dip each skewer lightly into the egg white mix. Very delicately, sprinkle water chestnut flour all over the lobster. Don"t pack on too much.
- Bring a large pot of peanut oil to 350 degrees. Fry 2 skewers at a time. They will only take approximately 2 to 3 min to crisp. Remove skewers from the oil and drain. Place in barely hot oven while the other skewers cook.
- To serve, place finished skewers on plate with your delicate salad leaning against the lobster. Spoon the curried coconut sauce around the plate and garnish with toasted coconut "moons".
- Green Papaya and Mint Salad: In a large bowl, assemble the salad, combining the green papayas, the mint, the Upland or possibly watercress, daikon, carrot, cucumber, and scallions rounds. Dress salad with vinaigrette right before serving. (Makes 6 servings)
- Vinaigrette: Whisk together rice wine vinegar, Nam Pla, ginger and oil. Set aside. (Makes approximately 1/2 c.)
- This recipe yields 6 servings.
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