Lobster Ceviche, with Cucumber and Lemon Jelly, Trout Roe and a Herb Oil. A great fresh starter to open a rich heavy meal.
A ceviche is generally a raw fish dish that’s been marinated in an acid (usually citrus) and served with a chili pepper and coriander, so as far as this dish goes, it’s not really a ceviche in that the lobster was poached… then again, no matter how much you let lobster meat “cook” in an acid, I don’t think it’ll every be appetizing. But the flavor profile is the same, a lightly cooked seafood protein, with lots of citrus, vinegar, chili and coriander. I used some tomatoes here to freshen the dish up, and figured I would use a cucumber mint jelly to the same effect. While the jelly was used to a large extent just for it’s own sake as an unusual application, there were solid reasons behind my choice; I figured real cucumbers would probably have gone soggy really quick with all the acidity in the dressing, I also figured if I’d used both fresh coriander and mint, the dish would be at risk of being to “herby” in it’s appearance. Finally, the dish was topped with some trout roe, which gave it a lovely salty fishy funkiness and looked great.
Serves 4 appetizer sized portions
For the Jelly:
Approximately 4 medium cucumbers
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
Juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp (not heaped) of powdered gelatin dissolved in 1/4 of warm water
Basically just process the cucumbers, mints and lemon juice in a mixer until uniform, then add the gelatin slurry to it; heat the mix on a stove until it simmers, mixing well using a whisk. Place the mixture in a container (a bowl or a plastic box) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until it sets. You’re going to want to cut the jelly into 0.5cm x 0.5cm cubes, so make sure your container is of a size where the depth of the mixture is about 0.5cm
For the Lobster
1 Lobster tail (about 250g) removed from its shell and cut into semi uniform cubes (so that they all are uniformly cooked).
Poaching liquid, I used water, white wine, 1 sliced lemon, 2 shallots, some coriander; but all in all, the dressing of the ceviche should be quite strong so that the subtle flavors of a poaching liquid will probably be lost.
Heat the liquid on a medium heat, until just about simmering, place the lobster in and cook until just about opaque, between 5-7mins, do not overcook the lobster as it’s going to be rubbery and very unappetizing (I slightly overcooked mine). Remove the lobster and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
For the Ceviche
Poached lobster meat
Cubed cucumber jelly
1 large handful chopped coriander
2 seeded and diced tomato (medium-large)
2 finely chopped shallots
2 finely sliced chilies
3 lemons juiced
2 tbsp of white vinegar
1 bunch of parsley and chives processed in a mixer with 1/2 cup of olive oil to make a herb oil
Salt to taste
Basically just combine the above ingredients (without the oil) in a bowl and mix together, allow them to sit in a fridge for about 30mins before serving. Portion the ceviches on the serving plates, and top each one with 1tsp of trout roe and drizzle the herb oil over, hopefully you’ll dig in to a fresh, clean and tasty appetizer.