Is there anything that says elegance more than a tasty lobster dish? The celebrated crustacean went from the food of the people to the food of royals, but it's still a tasty treat for everyone from all walks of life. It even has its own holiday.
Yep, Sept. 25 is National Lobster Day, and this is not just another eccentric food day. It's a moment that celebrates a bipartisan resolution recognizing the historic and economic importance of the lobster industry. Authored by a group of five New England senators, it was unanimously approved by Congress in 2015—and of course, it's a really fun excuse to eat some tasty lobster.
Whatever time of year, lobster is a great way to make your guests feel special or bring a little extra something to your family dinner. Chef John Shaw of The Boathouse Restaurant in Kennebunkport, ME, knows his way around delectable lobster dishes, collaborating with Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative for its "Maine Lobster Suite" package.
Today, he's graced us today with his incredible recipe for lobster spring rolls with citrus dipping sauce, an innovative flavor profile that offers a fresh alternative to heavier lobster dishes.
"When I was a young chef, I remember one of my first cookbooks was Ming Si's Blue Ginger cookbook," Shaw says. "I was really interested in the East-meets-West style of cuisine. It was that book that introduced me to fresh springs rolls. Over the years, I have played with different ingredients but it was my visit to Vietnam that inspired me to combine the flavors of a traditional spring roll with Maine lobster."
When choosing your lobster for this dish, Chef Shaw recommends a soft shell lobster, because "the extra water in their shells while they cook seems to marinate them, making them a bit more tender."
"Full to the brim with meat, hard shells cost more per pound than their softer counterparts," he says. "Since the yield is a bit less, the cost is less per pound for soft shells. I also tend to lean more to the claw and knuckle meat in the roll—I just find it to be the most tender."
Ready to wow your guests and make something summery your whole family will crave? Dig into this delicious, Asian fusion recipe below.
John Shaw's Lobster Spring Roll with Citrus Dipping Sauce
Lobster Spring Roll
- 8 rice paper spring roll wrappers
- 1 mango peeled and cut into match sticks
- 1 avocado cut into wedges
- Cucumber peeled, seeded and cut into match sticks
- 2 cups Napa cabbage slices
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 5-6 ounces fresh picked lobster meat
- Prepare all ingredients (Mise-en-Place) for the spring roll and line them on a clean surface.
- Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water.
- To fill the spring rolls, dip a wrapper into the water for 5 to 10 seconds. The rice paper should be slightly firm. The paper will continue to soak up water and soften as you assemble your ingredients.
- Place the dampened wrapper onto a large and clean cutting board.
- Starting at ⅓ of the wrapper closest to you, lay down your ingredients, beginning with the cabbage. Layer on all remaining ingredients.
- To roll the spring rolls, start with the edge of the wrapper closest to you. Gently pull the edges of the wrapper up off the cutting board and up and over the filling. Use your fingers to hold the ingredients in place, tucking them into the rice paper.
- Next, fold in both sides to enclose the filling. Continue to roll the rice paper forward, keeping the ingredients tight inside until your spring roll is completely wrapped.
Citrus Dipping Sauce
- 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- Juice of one orange
- Juice of one lemon
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- ¼ cup canola oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium, non-reactive saucepan, combine the soy sauce, lemon, lime and orange juice and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down the heat and cook until reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature
- Transfer the mixture to a blender, add mustard and blend. Add mint, blend and add oil slowly to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Visit The Boathouse Restaurant restaurant in Kennebunkport, ME to try these rolls and more.