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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- To make the dressing, combine shallots, mustard, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in oil, vinegar and chervil and mix well.
- 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.