Ski Boat Bay Rock Lobster
Award-winning Chef Sidney and Alison are French chefs at A Culinary Adventure at Le Calabash Cooking School. While they will teach you traditional French cooking, Chef Sidney also loves introducing exotic flavors into his cuisine. His lobster recipe is a perfect example of this fusion of flavors. Here, in his own words, Sidney talks about his inspiration for Ski Boat Bay rock lobster. (Ski Boat Bay pictured at top).
“I grew up in Natal, or KwaZulu as it is rightfully called now. It is a world of sub-tropical forests, blue lagoons, golden beaches, rocky coves and the warm Indian ocean. As a young boy of 8, I would venture down to Ski Boat Bay with a wire coat hanger and a length of rope. There I would pick mussels off the rocks and thread them onto the straightened wire hanger, which was attached to my rope and then tossed into the rock pools.
It would not take too long and I could feel the tugging at the end, at which point I’d pull the bait out with as much force as I could. Without fail there would always be a Rock Lobster or two, and the odd crab pulled out as well, flying over my head onto the rocks.
This is a dish that my dad and Zulu nanny would cook with the lobsters, a dish which was loved by friends. Incidentally, I never had a shortage of money in my pocket as I would stand next to the road and wave my lobster at passing vehicles, whose passengers bought my lobsters for 1 rand each.
I call this Sky Boat Bay lobster, as that is always what it will be to me, a memory of my childhood days, running wild with nothing on but a pair of shorts at Ski Boat Bay.”
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* 6 fresh lobsters, tropical spiny rock lobster, about 650g each
* 6 green chilies, split lengthways
* 70g mustard seeds
* 2 tbsp white vinegar
* 20g fresh ginger julienned
* 5 garlic cloves, ground into a paste
* 1 tbsp fresh ginger, ground into a paste
* 1 tsp black mustard seeds
* 250ml coconut milk
* 100g thick plain Greek yogurt
* 75ml vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
* Small bunch of coriander
* 1 tsp garam masala
Soak the mustard seeds in vinegar for 12 hours, drain and grind to a paste.
In a round bottom dish, mix together coconut milk, yogurt, mustard seed paste, chilies, ginger julienned, ginger paste, garlic, sugar, and salt.
Cut lobster in half lengthways, leaving the head on. Rinse lobster under cold water and dry. Place lobsters on a baking tray shell side down.
Preheat oven to 185° C (365° F).
In a saucepan, heat oil to smoking point and add black mustard seeds. Once seeds crackle, add the coconut spice paste and gently simmer over a low heat for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, taking care that it does not split.
Pour the sauce evenly over the lobster and cover with foil. Cook for 14-16 minutes.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with coriander and serve with pilaf or, as Chef Sidney prefers, with Roti.