Sous Vide Lobster with Beetroot and Laksa
- COOK TIME: 2
- PREP TIME: 2 Hours
- DIFFICULTY: Difficult
- SERVES: 6
- 3 lobsters, each weighing 500g
- olive oil
- 60g of butter
- 20ml of lemon juice
- 1 kohlrabi – to serve
- 1 handful of coriander cress – to serve
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- ½ small fennel, finely chopped (approx 180g)
- 5g of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 lemongrass
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tomato
- 10g of macadamia nuts
- 1 tsp paprika
- 75ml of coconut milk
- 1l shellfish stock, preferably lobster
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 10g of coriander leaves
- 250ml of white wine vinegar
- 250g of sugar
- 3 black peppercorns
- 3 coriander seeds
- 3 fennel seeds
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 baby golden beetroots
- 5 oranges
- 6g of agar agar
Recipe courtesy of Colin McGurran from www.greatbritishchefs.com
- To make the pickled beetroot, preheat a water bath to a temperature of 90⁰C.
- Lightly season the beetroot with salt, then seal them inside a vacuum bag. Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 40 minutes. After this time, remove from the water bath and, without unsealing the bag, set aside to cool.
- Next, make the pickling liquid. Place the white wine vinegar and sugar in a saucepan over a medium-high heat, then mix in the garlic, peppercorns, coriander and fennel seeds, thyme and bay leaf. Simmer for 4 minutes. When the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool, then strain using a fine sieve.
- Cut the beetroot into thin slivers using a mandoline and stack inside an airtight jar or container. Add the pickling liquid, ensuring that the beetroot slices are completely covered, and seal the container. Leave to pickle at room temperature for 1 hour or longer if possible.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 50⁰C.
- Before cooking the lobsters, you need to dispatch them humanely. To do this, position the tip of a large, heavy knife over the cross between the lobster’s eyes and swiftly bring the blade down through the head.
- Pull off the claws, then sever and discard the head. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the lobster claws and tails. Blanch for 12 second, then transfer the lobster into a bowl of iced water to halt the cooking process. Place the tails in the fridge.
- Fold some baking parchment around the lobster claws, making sure that you cover the sharp edges, then place inside a vacuum bag and seal. Cook the bag in the water bath for 1 hour.
- While the claws are cooking, make the laksa. First, heat a dash of oil in a saucepan, then add the chopped shallots, garlic, ginger and fennel and sauté over a low heat for 2 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to season, then chop the tomato in the pan and stir well.
- Mix in the paprika, fennel seeds, curry powder and macadamia nuts and fry for approximately 5 minutes, then pour in the shellfish stock and coconut milk and continue to heat. When the liquid reaches the boil, tip the contents of the pan into a blender and pulse to make a smooth sauce. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and stir in the coriander and kaffir lime leaves. Set aside for 30 minutes to infuse. The sauce will thicken naturally.
- Take the lobster claws out of the water bath. Break apart and carefully peel back the shells until you can extract the meat from each claw in a single piece. Discard the shells and set the meat aside until needed.
- To make the orange gel, remove the orange peel in long thin strips using a peeler or a sharp knife, taking care to cut only the zest and not the pith, then halve and juice the fruit.
- Fill a small saucepan with water, bring to the boil and add the orange peel. Simmer for 2 minutes, then drain the pan and plunge the peel into iced water.
- Repeat step 12 a further 4 times, using fresh water each time.
- Place the blanched peel and the orange juice in a blender and mix until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve and measure out 500g into a saucepan. Place over a medium heat and whisk in the agar agar. Keep whisking until the mixture reaches the boil, then cook for 1 minute. Once cooked, tip into a shallow tray and leave to set.
- When the mixture has set, return it to the blender and purée. Strain using a fine sieve, then store in a piping bag or squeezy bottle until needed.
- Remove the lobster tails from the fridge. Taking them one at a time, cut straight down the middle of lobster’s back with scissors, splitting the shell without cutting the meat inside.
- Peel back the shell and extract the meat. With a knife, cut into the centre of the tail to expose the intestine. Pull out the intestine with your fingers, then leave the meat to drain on kitchen paper.
- Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the lobster tails and add them to the hot pan. Caramelise the meat over a high heat, then drop the butter and lemon juice into the pan and mix well, turning the lobsters to ensure they cook evenly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, reserving the juices from the pan.
- Once cool, seal the lobster tails and the pan juices together inside a vacuum bag. Poach the bag in the water bath for 12 minutes.
- Using a fine sieve, strain the laska to remove the coriander and kaffir lime leaves. Warm gently in a saucepan until heated through.
- Cut the kohlrabi into thin slices using a mandoline. Press a 3cm round pastry cutter into each slice to create neat circles.
- To plate, cut the lobster meat (tails and claws) into even slices and arrange a few in the centre of each plate. Add several dots of orange gel on top of the lobster, then surround the meat with slices of kohlrabi and pickled beetroot. Spoon over the laksa sauce and finish with a garnish of coriander cress.