A beautiful and exoctic seafood dish.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 2" piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 tbsp Arborio rice
8 fresh long red chiles
2 large live lobsters, about 2 lb each, halved lengthwise and cleaned (see Working with Live Lobsters below)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 225°F.
Step 2: In a small bowl, stir together the garlic and ginger. Put the rice in another small bowl and add 1 tsp of the garlic-ginger mixture. Toss to mix well and set aside.
Step 3: Arrange the chiles parallel to one another across the bottom of a baking dish. Put the lobster halves, cut-side up, in a single layer on the rack of chiles. Carefully spoon 1 tbsp of the rice mixture into the cavity of each lobster half. Spoon 2 tbsp of the coconut milk into each cavity and spread gently to moisten the rice. Scatter the lime zest and the remaining ginger-garlic mixture over the lobsters.
Step 4: In a small measuring jar, stir together the lime juice and the remaining 1 cup coconut milk and pour around the lobsters. Drizzle all with the sherry and sesame oil.
Step 5: Cover the baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Steam in the oven until the lobster meat is firm and opaque throughout and the rice is tender and creamy, about 2 hours.
Step 6: Arrange a lobster half on each of four plates. Discard the chiles and stir the cilantro into the coconut milk in the pan; spoon some sauce over each lobster. Pass the remaining pan sauce at the table for dipping.
Working With Live Lobsters
Shellfish like crabs, lobsters, oysters, mussels, and clams all must be used live in the kitchen, because they decompose quickly after death. Adding them to hot water is accepted by many as a humane way to cook (and kill) shellfish, and one a good share of people who eat shellfish are comfortable with undertaking at home. In other instances, such as grilling or broiling lobster halves or as in this slow-steaming recipe, the cook is required to split the live animal and arrange it for cooking, possibly presenting a different comfort level for the home chef. But a sure hand and a swift cut with a well-sharpened knife makes the task equally humane, and opens a wide variety of dramatic and delicious ways to serve this special seafood.
To split a live lobster, put the lobster on a cutting board set in a rimmed baking sheet. Uncurl the tail and lay it out flat. Insert the tip of a sharp chef’s knife into the back of the lobster, right at the seam where the head and body shells meet, with the edge of the blade facing the tail. In one motion, bring the knife down the centerline of the body, splitting the whole lobster in half. Now turn the lobster over and make the same cut on the under side to finish breaking the shell cleanly in two. The lobster will separate into two halves.
Place the two halves cut-side up on your cutting board. Remove the sand sack from the head and discard.
Remove the light green tomalley from the carapace and, if present, the long sack of dark green roe that runs down the back of the lobster. These can be saved and used to flavor or thicken a sauce or as a garnish. The lobster is now ready for stuffing.
See more recipes from Cooking Slow.
Reprinted with permission from Cooking Slow (2013, Raincoast Books)