Lobster with whey, pine and mushrooms

Sweet, meaty lobster meets the forest flavours of mushroom and pine in this clever dish from Leo Carreira. While it may sound pretty complex, the dish actually requires minimal ingredients and simple cookery so could be the perfect recipe if you're looking to impress – just make sure your lobsters are of the best quality.

First published in 2022

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Whey and pine sauce

  • 200ml of whey
  • 3 bunches of Douglas fir pine needles
  • 6g of kuzu, or arrowroot

Lobster and wild mushrooms

To garnish

Equipment

  • Metal skewers 2
  • Lobster cracker

Method

1

Pour the whey into a saucepan, add the pine needles and bring to the boil. Take off the heat, cover with clingfilm and leave to infuse for 1 hour

  • 200ml of whey
  • 3 bunches of Douglas fir pine needles
2

Meanwhile, place the lobsters in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will put them to sleep so you can kill them as humanely as possible. Use a sturdy, sharp knife and push the tip firmly and quickly through the centre of the cross on its head, making sure the blade side is directed towards the tail – this should kill it instantly. Repeat with the second lobster

3

Insert a metal skewer down the length of each lobster – this is to keep the tails straight instead of curling up as they cook. Cook the lobsters in salted boiling water for 4 minutes (you may need a tall pan here depending on the length of your skewers), then submerge the lobsters in iced water to halt the cooking process

4

Remove the claws and carefully crack them open, trying to keep the meat in one piece. Carefully peel the tails and remove the intestines. Slice each tail in half lengthways to create 4 portions

5

To finish the sauce, strain the infused whey through a muslin cloth into a small pan. Mix the kuzu with a couple of tablespoons of the liquid to create a paste, then whisk this paste into the rest of the whey to create a thickened sauce

  • 6g of kuzu, or arrowroot
6

Season the lobster meat with salt and place over medium-hot coals or in a smoking hot griddle pan until the colour changes slightly to a deeper orange. This should only take a minute or 2

7

Place a small pan over a high heat and, once smoking, add the oil and wild mushrooms. Cook for a minute or two then season with salt

8

Place the whey sauce over a low heat and cook until it becomes slightly transparent

9

To serve, plate up half a lobster tail and the meat from one claw on each plate. Spoon over the sauce, then arrange the mushrooms on top. Finish with pennywort and edible flowers

First published in 2022

An alumnus of Mugaritz and Nuno Mendes' Viajante, Leo Carreira is carving his own trailblazing path and rethinking how fish and seafood should be prepared and cooked at The Sea, The Sea in Hackney.

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