Lobster, Clam and Kimchi Stew

"Kimchi stew is a fast and easy way to use up kimchi that's become too sour for people to eat straight," says Marja Vongerichten. Traditional Korean recipes are usually packed with a mix of seafood, but in this elegant version, Marja uses just lobster and clams.

Slideshow: More Seafood Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8 first-course servings

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  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound daikon, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups kimchi, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • One 2-pound lobster—halved lengthwise, claws detached and cracked (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 bunch watercress—thick stems discarded and the rest coarsely chopped

How to make this recipe

  1. <p>In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until softened, 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the scallions to a plate. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 minutes. Add the daikon and kimchi and cook for 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a boil.</p>

  2. <p>Add the lobster to the pot and simmer over moderate heat, turning, until the shells are bright red, 6 minutes. Transfer the lobster to a large rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, remove the tail and claw meat; discard the dark intestinal vein that runs down the tail. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Discard the tail and claw shells. Return the lobster body to the pot. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Discard the lobster body shells.</p>

  3. <p>Stir the fish sauce, soy sauce and red pepper paste into the broth and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the clams, cover and cook until they are all open. Add the lobster meat, scallions and watercress to the soup and remove from the heat. Ladle into bowls and serve.</p>

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2. Refrigerate the lobster and broth separately overnight.


The easiest way to split live lobsters open is to ask your fishmonger to do it; he can also remove the claws and tails.

Suggested Pairing

Pair recipes with such an array of bold flavors as this one—sour kimchi and spicy red pepper—with simple, straightforward wines. Pour a bright, citrusy California Sauvignon Blanc.

Contributed By Photo © Michael Turek Published December 2011

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