My favorite grocery store in town, Newflower Market, sometimes has ridiculous sales, and this week it was 4 oz. lobster tails for $4 each. $4 each?? Freaking ridiculous. Heck yeah, those babies were going in my basket! But now what to make?
It’s in the middle of the scorching heat of summer in Texas, so the obvious dishes like lobster bisque just don’t quite feel right. When it’s blazing hot like this, you need a dish that’s a cool, crisp breeze to cut that summer swelter. Spring rolls are a perfect summer dish because of all the fresh veggies and very little cooking required.
The last time I cooked lobster was in college when I took a trip with a boyfriend to Maine. We stayed in some cottages, bought some lobsters from a guy with a shack on the side of the road, and cooked those buggers in a communal lobster cooking pit in the cottage complex. I had no clue what I was doing then (and only have slightly more of a clue now), and remember chasing the lobsters around the ground after dropping them and screaming like a girl. We overcooked those poor lobsters and ended up with some chewy meat, but it was still a fun experience to have fresh lobster in Maine. 🙂
Now, years later, I sit here with two headless lobsters taunting me to do them justice. Luckily, the internet is an amazing teacher, and in a few minutes I turned up a few rules of thumb around cooking lobster:
- When boiling lobster, cook 1 minute per ounce of lobster.
- If steaming, 10 minutes for 1 lb, additional 2 min for each 1/4 lb above that.
- Salt the water generously.
I decided to go the boiling route since I don’t have a good steamer basket setup. The result was plump and well seasoned lobster meat. I bet it would have been more amazing if I’d had live lobster, but I’ll save that for a special occasion!
One thing I did notice – It smelled like CRAP when I was cooking the lobster!! I thought maybe I got bad lobster because it smelled like rotting feet. However when the 4 minutes was up, the lobster & the remaining broth both smelled nice and oceany. It was just the steam from cooking that smelled bad. Have you ever experienced this?!
Anyway, once the lobster is cooked, the rest of the prep is pretty simple. I also threw together a sweet curry sauce because I was thinking about the famous lobster shooters at Abacus which are served in some sort of light, sweet curry sauce. The sauce below is much thicker and designed for dipping vs. shooting.
Servings: About 8 spring rolls
- 2 4oz lobster tails
- Rice Paper
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 ripe mango
- vermicelli noodles
Sweet Curry Sauce:
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1.5 TB curry powder
- 1/2 inch ginger root minced
- 1/2 mango finely chopped
- 1 TB agave nectar or honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- dash black pepper
- 1 inch lemongrass stalk
- Heat up enough water in a pot to cover the lobster tails. Add about 1 TB of salt.
- Once the water is at a rolling boil, drop the lobster in and cook for about 1 min per oz. Covered loosely.
- Remove lobsters from pot and dunk in cold water to stop cooking.
- Remove the shells and cut up the meat into chunks and set aside.
5. Slice the cucumber, bell pepper, mango into long vertical slices. Pull off the leaves of the basil and mint. Arrange everything neatly on a plate so it’s easier to assemble to the spring rolls.
6. Cook the vermicelli in a pot of boiling water. The noodles are done when you can pick one up, squeeze it between your fingers and it breaks easily. Drain and rinse the noodles.
7. Put all the curry sauce ingredients in a pan and heat to medium hot, stirring occasionally until the sauce just starting to boil. Turn off the heat.
8. Pour all the sauce into a blender and quickly blend. Remember to leave the lid ajar or it will explode all over!
9. Pour the blended sauce into a dipping bowl and add any more salt needed.
10. Assemble the spring rolls:
- Wet a piece of rice paper and lay it on a plate.
- Place noodles, cucumber, bell pepper, mango, basil, mint, and some lobster on the rice paper.
- Roll up the spring roll like you would a burrito, folding in the sides, and then rolling over the insides.
- You can also add the chive and leave the end hanging out for fun, like a little spring roll tail!
(Please note, this is not an ideal spring roll rolling job, but it will do. I was down to the last, half broken piece of rice paper when I remembered to take a pic! The rest were already in our bellies. Whoops!)
11. Dip in the curry sauce and enjoy!
This is luxurious little bite that will satisfy and refresh! Make sure to reserve the lobster stock for a soup (mine is now in the freezer) and any extra curry sauce for another dish that you can make the next day. Stay tuned!