Every time we washed the orange guts down the sink, without fail my mother would say, “Oooh, in Japan this would be a delicacy!” as though we were such peasants for not eating it. But we never ate it. We used to cook the lobsters ourselves in a giant pot of rolling boiling water but now I can’t be bothered so I just buy them from a good fish monger.
My family used to holiday every year in Robe, South Australia, a town internationally famous for its rock lobsters.This is, in my opinion, the best way to eat crays.
- 400 g (2 cups) short-grain rice, rinsed
- 1 cooked rock lobster, about 1.5-2.5 kg
- 12 nori sheets, toasted
- seaweed salad, soy sauce and wasabi paste, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Get the rice on to cook in the rice cooker or follow the instructions on the packet using the absorption method.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the lobster, using a large knife or cleaver, cut the lobster in half lengthways. If you like, gently rinse out the “mustard”. Carefully pull out all the flesh from the tail and cut it into small, bite-sized pieces, being careful not to jumble it up. Return the flesh to the tail.
- Using a gas burner toast nori sheets by waving them over the flame for a minute or two. If you don't have a gas burner place a stack of sheets in a hot oven for a few minutes to refresh.
- Arrange the lobster halves on a serving platter, on a bed of whatever leaves you have at hand. Serve with hot rice, nori, thawed seaweed salad, soy sauce and wasabi paste and let guests wrap their own.
•For a more sushi-like result you could season the rice while warm with storebought sushi seasoning or a mix of ½ cup rice vinegar, ¼ cup white sugar, and 1 tsp salt mixed til dissolved.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Adam Liaw.