|I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it.|
I’ve read before that unlike other creatures, the meat of a lobster doesn’t get tougher as it ages and gets larger. I was a little skeptical, but I had no way of testing that theory until this past weekend. My fiance Regina’s friend Denise was in town, and being just as adventurous an eater as we are, Denise was excited to explore east of downtown. Friday we had an early dinner at our fave Vietnamese place, Golden Deli. Afterwards we headed to the vast Hawaii Supermarket over on Valley Blvd for some browsing and shopping.
The Hawaii is a great resource for all Asian goods, from 50-pound bags of rice to stinky Durian to (lord-help-us) live snapping turtles. I’m still not sure how to break down and cook a turtle, but I do know from lobstas! Above the skanky turtle bin was a huge case full of lobsters. Some were your standard size crustaceans, about 2 pounds on average. But the adjacent case was full of much larger specimens. Using a combination of sign language and broad smiles, I indicated to the Chinese fella behind the counter that I wanted something BIG. He returned shortly with a beast just over six pounds!
I cooked it the next evening for our dinner. I seasoned the cooking water with beer, a little white wine, some scallions, a couple stalks of celery, some fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, a 1/4 cup of sugar, and healthy dose of kosher salt. While the water heated up I kept the lobster on the counter, to come to room temperature. When it came to a full, rolling boil I dropped our monsta lobsta, dubbed Felix, into it’s watery grave. I did the math: 15 minutes for the first pound and then add 1 minute per pound. At six pounds that would give me a cook time of 20 minutes. But I figured we needed to take into account the extra-thick carapace and the fact that plunging Felix into the water would drop the temperature down significantly. So, I added an extra five minutes.
|Farewell Felix! We barely knew you.|
After 25 minutes, I took him out and left him cool for ten minutes. I then finished the rest of dinner, which consisted of: fried zucchini blossoms with a light batter Denise made and a homemade pomodoro, which I made. Fresh mozzarella (homemade, of course) with tomatoes and micro arugula. And strozapreti pasta tossed with butter, garlic, and wilted pea leaves and tendrils.
Dinner was outstanding, everything tasted great. But the lobster! Oh, my, the lobster! Tender, sweet, delicious, and plentiful. This was not tough, not rubbery, just fantastic. The claws, tail, knuckle, and legs were all great. Regina scarfed on the all the meat and tomalley in the head cavity. The tomalley was delicious.
If you ever see a huge lobster, buy it, try it, eat it. This big-ass lobster was one of the best I’ve ever eaten.
|Regina, Denise, Felix.|
|Unreal, prehistoric lobster claw.|
|That is a hard claw to crack!|
|Brute force was required to extract….|
|…the claw meat. Over a half pound of meat in just one claw.|
|The lobster feast!|
Hawaii Supermarket120 E Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776