Bang-Bang Butter-Poached Lobster Banh Mi
North American lobster makes a credible stand-in for Southeast Asian ingredients like mantis shrimp, river prawns and spiny lobster. Phet Schwader, the chef at New York's Khe-Yo restaurant and sister sandwich stand Khe-Yosk, was inspired by low lobster prices to create a summery spin on the traditionally meaty banh mi sandwich. In Mr. Schwader's rendition, a whole lobster's worth of meat is cooked gently in spiced brown butter for unbelievably tender results.
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup daikon, julienned
- 1/4 cup carrots, julienned
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) live lobster
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 fresh Thai chilies
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 5 sprigs cilantro, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons Sriracha mayonnaise (equal parts Sriracha sauce and mayonnaise)
- 1/2 cup thin strips of cucumber
- 1 (8-inch) baguette, sliced in half horizontally and lightly toasted
Adapted from online.wsj.com
Bring vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ tablespoon salt to a simmer in a small, lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add daikon and carrots and cook until slightly softened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 15-20 minutes. Strain.
Meanwhile, Cook Lobster:
Fill a large stockpot ⅔ full with water. Add remaining salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Kill lobster by plunging a knife in at base of head. Separate tail and claws from body. Place tail and claws in pot, cooking tail for 2 minutes and claws for 5 minutes. Immediately transfer cooked lobster to a bowl of ice water.
Carefully remove meat from shells, making sure to take cartilage out of claw section. Slice lobster meat into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Make Bang-Bang Sauce:
Using a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, chilies and remaining sugar into a paste. Stir in fish sauce, lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Bring bang-bang sauce and butter to a low simmer in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add lobster meat and cook, spooning sauce gently over meat, until warmed through and firm, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
Scoop some bread from inside of baguettes to make room for filling. Spread interior of baguettes with Sriracha mayonnaise. Add cucumber strips, lobster meat, pickled vegetables and cilantro sprigs. Press top of baguette firmly in place, cut in half and serve.