Cured lobster and charred leek with leek consommé

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This inventive lobster with leek recipe from Nuno Mendes, produces a work of art. Grab your sous vide equipment in order to prepare this beautifully rich and multi-layered dish.

First published in 2015





Charred leeks

Leek ash emulsion

  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml of olive oil

Lobster furikake

  • 1 tbsp of rice wine
  • 1 pinch of togarashi
  • salt


  • Food processor or blender
  • Muslin cloth
  • Sous vide equipment
  • Hotplate
  • Spice grinder


For the charred leeks, trim the leeks and heat a hotplate or grill pan until very hot. Cook the leeks until dark and charred on the outside
Place the leeks in a vacuum bag, seal and cook at 85°C in a water bath for 20 minutes
Remove from the bag and reserve the juices for the consommé
Remove and reserve the outer layers of the leeks until you reach the hearts and set aside in the fridge. The outer leaves will be used for the leek ash emulsion. Reserve the other trimmings for the leek consommé
For the leek consommé, weigh the leek trimmings and place in a vacuum bag with 25ml of water for each 100g. Seal and cook in a water bath at 90°C for 14 hours, or in a tray filled with water in the oven. If using an oven tray, top up the water as necessary
Add the leek juices to the cooked leek hearts, freeze the mixture, then put the frozen block into a sieve lined with muslin or a J-cloth and allow it to defrost and drip through to give a golden brown liquid
Before cooking the lobster, place it in the freezer to render it insensate. Once the lobster is insensate, bring a pot of water to the boil. Place it on its back with its claws tied and hold it firmly by the top of its head. Place the tip of a very sharp chef's knife on the head just beneath its mouth, lining the blade up with the lobster’s midline with the blade side pointed toward its tail
Pierce the lobster’s head downward, then place the knife tip just to the body side of the junction of its tail and thorax and cut through the midline
Immediately after killing the lobster, plunge it into boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes. Lift out of the water and remove the tail meat from the shell. Separate the head, remove the meat from the claws and knuckles and set aside for the furikake
Mix the sugar, salt and dill in a bowl and spoon it over and under the lobster tail, so it is completely covered. Cure for 3 hours in the fridge, then remove from the cure and cut the thickest part of the tail into 4 medallions
  • 6 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of dill
For the lobster furikake, mix the lobster knuckles and claws with the rice wine and cook in a pot very slowly, stirring constantly, for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the meat completely dehydrates and the mixture turns into a floss. Season with togarashi and salt and preserve in a dry container
  • 1 tbsp of rice wine
  • 1 pinch of togarashi
  • salt
Split the remaining piece of lobster tail lengthways into 4 rectangular pieces
Preheat the oven to 240˚C/gas mark 9
For the leek ash emulsion, place the outer leek leaves in an oven and cook until blackened. Once they start to burn, remove, cool and grind them to a powder in a coffee or spice grinder. Separate the eggs and place the 2 egg yolks and the olive oil in a food processor, add the ash and mix to form a mayonnaise-like texture
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml of olive oil
Reheat the leek hearts with some butter and salt in a grill pan just before serving
Before serving, warm the lobster tail pieces in a butter emulsion (2 parts butter, 1 part water at a simmer) and serve warm. Bring the medallions to room temperature, drizzle a little melted butter over them and divide onto 4 plates
Add a little of the emulsion to the leek hearts and to garnish the plate. Add the warm consomme and furikake before serving
First published in 2015

For a chef, having mentors like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Ferran Adrià must be akin to taking music classes with Chopin and Brahms. Nuno Mendes' London restaurant demonstrates the qualities of ambition that most good protégés possess.

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