Jerry Clare's Lobster Pad Thai
- SERVINGS: 6
Jerry Clare, chef and co-owner of The Belmont in Camden, Maine, learned to make pad thai while studying in Thailand and adapted the dish for native lobster when he returned to New England.
- 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
- Two 1 1/2-pound live lobsters
- 1 pound dried rice vermicelli
- 1 large stalk fresh lemongrass, tender bulb only, minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Asian shrimp paste or anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 6 large scallions, chopped
- 1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 cup (4 ounces) dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Fill a large stockpot with 2 inches of water, add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Put the lobsters in the boiling water, head first, and cook until they start to turn red, about 4 minutes. With tongs, transfer the lobsters to a bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, put the rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with warm water and let soak until pliable, about 20 minutes. Drain the noodles in a colander and set aside.
- Remove the meat from the lobster knuckles and claws. Twist the tails off the bodies. Split the tails lengthwise and remove the tail meat. Pull out and discard the black intestinal vein. Cut all of the lobster meat into 1-inch chunks and place in a bowl. Add any accumulated lobster juices, cover and refrigerate until needed.
- In a mini food processor, combine the lemongrass and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and process to a coarse paste. Scrape into a bowl. In another bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar with the shrimp paste and chili paste.
- Heat a wok or large wide skillet over high heat. Add the oil and when it is almost smoking, add the lobster and shrimp and stir-fry until the shrimp are barely pink throughout, about 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass paste and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp paste and stir-fry fro 1 minute longer. Add the drained rice noodles, lime juice, lemon juice and fish sauce and stir-fry until the noodles are translucent and pleasantly chewy, about 3 minutes. Add the scallions and egg and stir-fry until the egg is almost set, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mound on a large platter. Sprinkle the cilantro, peanuts and bean spouts over the top and serve at once with lime wedges.
Torres Viña Sol from Spain or a Japanese beer, such as Asahi.