In Cornwall, we’re fortunate enough to get hold of some of the best seafood in the country, and our lobsters are second to none. Perfectly cooked and simply served with a good dressing or mayonnaise is all you need to impress. Don’t forget, you want the lobster to sing!

For best results, serve the lobsters once cooled to room temperature. If you do want to refrigerate the lobsters once cooked, and serve the following day, just remember to remove them from the fridge half an hour or so before serving to take the chill off.

We’ll be featuring lobster salad on the specials board this summer at The Mariners, Rock. So if you need any further tips, just ask the team!

Sustainable top tip: Pot caught lobster caught inside of Cornwall’s six mile limit is the most sustainable choice due to better management by Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

Ingredients:
Serves 2 as light lunch

2 live lobsters, upto 750g each
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 bulb of garlic, cut in half
2 onions, peeled and sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 fennel, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 star anise
1 tsp. coriander seeds
10 peppercorns
200 ml white wine
Salt

For the herb dressing:

40 ml Agridulce style white wine vinegar or a good quality sherry vinegar
100 ml Good quality light extra virgin olive oil
Cornish sea salt
1 tbsp chopped chervil
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 tbsp chopped tarragon

What is Agridulce vinegar? Agridulce means “bittersweet” in Spanish. It is made from wine vinegar which has been sweetened with grape must, before being aged in oak barrels for one year.

Method:

Put the lobsters in the freezer for an hour before cooking to sedate them.

To poach the lobsters, first make a bouillon. Put the vegetables, garlic, herbs, wine, peppercorns and spices into a large pan (big enough to hold the lobsters). Pour in enough water to cover the lobsters and add plenty of salt (you want it to be almost as salty as the sea). Bring to the boil over a high heat, then lower and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Before poaching the lobsters, take them out of the freezer and firmly insert the tip of a strong cook’s knife into the cross on the head to kill each one instantly. Add the lobsters to the simmering bouillon and cook for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the lobsters to finish cooking in the bouillon for a further 4 minutes. Place the lobsters on a tray and leave to cool completely. Strain the bouillon and let it cool for use later.

When the lobsters are cold, carefully cut them in half length ways, from head to tail. Remove the stomach sac and the dark intestinal thread that runs along the length of the tail. Remove the claw meat by gently, but firmly cracking the shell with the back of a knife, snap off the smaller of the pincers and then use the handle of a spoon or a skewer to poke the meat out of the shell. Remove the cartilage running through the centre of the claw meat, then cut the meat into small pieces. Lay the pieces of claw meat into the head space of the lobster shell.

When ready to serve, make the herb dressing. Take the agridulce vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a couple of tablespoons of the bouillon. Whisk together in a bowl to combine. Add the chopped herbs and mix one last time, before generously drizzling the dressing over the lobster. Serve immediately, along with a simple, fresh salad.

Photography © Beth Druce

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Poached lobster with a herb dressing
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