Grilled “Chicken of the Sea” with Dried Shrimp Salsa
In Cuba for the last 50 years, serving lobster was illegal in restaurants or home kitchens taking in guests. Locals found a way around the law by calling them chicken of the sea on menus.
Grilled Lobster with Coconut-Rum Glaze & Dried Shrimp Salsa
- 6 lobsters, roughly 2 pounds each
- Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 star anise buds
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Cuban dark rum
- 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup cream of coconut
- 1 English cucumber, seeded and minced fine using only the skin and the ¼-inch of flesh attached to it.
- 1/4 unsalted peanuts, toasted and lightly crushed
- 4 roma tomatoes in small dice
- 2 roasted and minced jalapeños
- 1 minced red onion
- 3 tablespoons minced chives
- 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
- Juice of 2 limes
- Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or more to taste
- 6 ounces dried tiny shrimp…toasted in a 300 degree oven until crunchy and aromatic, gently crushed
For the glaze, combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer to reduce by half. Strain and reserve until ready to use.
For the Lobster
Bring a large stock pot of water to a rolling boil. Boil lobsters 2 at a time for 4 minutes. Plunge in ice water when finished.
Crack open shells, and using cooking shears extract the tail and claw meats whole… snacking on the knuckles yourself and reserving the shell for soups or stocks.
Season the lobster tails and claws with salt and pepper, and coat with olive oil and minced cilantro.
Over medium hot coals or using a grill pan, grill to just cook through. Serve on a puddle of the glaze and garnish with the salsa.
Make the Salsa
To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients, and serve immediately so the shrimp and peanuts stay as crunchy as possible.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.