• Pickled bamboo, poached chicken and lobster salad (Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul)Source: Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul

I always take advantage of the season for fresh bamboo – there is nothing more delicious in flavour and stunningly beautiful in a visual sense. You’ll never go back to the tinned version.






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When I created many of the recipes in this book it was Christmas-time. I was feeling particularly festive and indulgent, and I lost count of how many dinner parties I attended and held! Lobster (or crayfish, as it’s often called in Australia) seemed to be on the menu rather frequently, as summer in Sydney is perfect seafood-eating weather, but you can easily substitute fresh prawns or crabmeat; as long as it’s fresh, you can’t go wrong. Talking of freshness, I always take advantage of the season for fresh bamboo – there is nothing more delicious in flavour and stunningly beautiful in a visual sense. You’ll never go back to the tinned version.This recipe makes more pickled bamboo than you need, but it keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator and makes a lovely addition to salads.


  • 1 x 700 g (1 lb 6 oz) live lobster
  • 90 g (3 oz) pickled bamboo – see below
  • 2 chicken breasts, from Kylie’s poached chicken
  • 1 pinch cracked white pepper
  • 1 dash of extra virgin olive oil


Pickled bamboo

  • 1 x 700 g (1 lb 6 oz) fresh bamboo shoot
  • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce


Shallot, chervil and mustard dressing

  • ¼ cup finely diced red shallots
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chardonnay vinegar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chervil

Cook's notes

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.


Cooling time (for chicken): 3 hours

Freezing time (for lobster): 1 hourr

  1. Place lobster in freezer for 1 hour, where it will ‘go to sleep’, then lower into a large stockpot of boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes. Using tongs, carefully remove lobster, drain and allow to cool at room temperature.
  2. Cut the horn-shaped bamboo shoot in half lengthways, strip off the outer fibrous layers and then trim about 2 cm (1 in) off the base. Cut bamboo into 5 mm (¼ in) wide strips and add to a pan of cold salted water. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Drain and refresh bamboo under cold water. Repeat this process of boiling from a cold-water start, draining and refreshing twice more to remove any bitterness. To pickle the bamboo, place vinegar and sugar in a small pan, and stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Then simmer, uncovered and without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is slightly reduced. Remove from stove, stir in fish sauce and the prepared bamboo.
  3. To make the dressing, combine shallots, mustard, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in oil, vinegar and chervil and mix well.
  4. To serve, remove meat from lobster and slice thickly on the diagonal. Slice chicken breasts thickly, also on the diagonal. Layer sliced lobster, chicken and pickled bamboo on a serving platter and spoon over the dressing. Sprinkle with a little pepper and drizzle with olive oil.


Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul premieres on Wednesday 21 November at 8.30pm. The series airs Wednesdays at 8.30pm on SBS Food (Channel 33). After they air, episodes will stream at SBS On Demand