Lobster and Pea Shoots with Butter-Fried Garlic and Ginger
- TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Jean-Georges Vongerichten concocted this light and fragrant seafood dish (now on the menu at Spice Market) at Bangkok's Seafood Market & Restaurant, a giant space that serves 3,000 customers a day. Here's the drill: Diners choose from a 165-foot-long counter of fish and shellfish and select from an array of vegetables, then one of the toque-topped chefs stir-fries, steams or grills everything.
- Two 1 1/2-pound lobsters
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons finely julienned fresh ginger
- 2 red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
- 3 1/2 ounces pea shoots or one 4-ounce bunch of watercress, rinsed but not dried, tough stems discarded
- 1/2 cup finely shredded basil leaves
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the lobsters head first and cook until they are bright red, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the lobsters to a bowl. Pour out all but 1/2 inch of the cooking water in the pot. Set a steamer basket in the pot and cover with a lid.
- When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, twist off the claws, then twist off and discard the heads. Using a large knife, cut the tails in half lengthwise and discard the intestinal vein. Loosen the meat in the tail shells, leaving it in the shell. Crack the claws so the meat can be removed easily. Remove the meat from the knuckles.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Skim off the foam. Add the garlic to the butter and cook until the garlic is golden, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and chiles and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
- Bring the water in the pot to a simmer. Add the lobster pieces, cover and steam until heated through, about 1 minute.
- Set a medium skillet over high heat. Add the pea shoots and toss until barely wilted, about 1 minute; transfer to a platter. Top with the lobster, garlic butter and basil. Serve with the lemon wedges.
Verdejo, one of Spain's undersung white grapes, is ideal with this dish. It combines Sauvignon Blanc's grassy aromas with a bit more body.