RECIPE: Nobu’s Grilled Lobster

by jadams

Eat & Drink

Our February Box was a bottle of Mod Seléction Champagne.

One of the most coveted Champagnes on the market today, this bottle deserves a beautiful moment. For pairing, we suggest lobster. Make a moment of it and buy a fresh, live lobster. If you don’t have a personal chef, don’t worry. You can definitely prepare this one yourself. We obtained this recipe from Nobu inside the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. It’s colorful, simply grilled and unbelievably delicious. It’s worthy of that Champagne.



1 lb. live lobster

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, sliced fine

1 Tbsp. fresh yuzu juice (purchase at any Japanese grocery)

1 dash truffle oil

1 teaspoon fresh chives, finely chopped

Fresh, bright frisée lettuce for plating

Small black truffle, fine shaved

Nobu dry miso seasoning (purchase it here)

Salt to taste

Lemon slices for garnish



Step 1 Buying a Lobster:

One pound feeds one person on average. If you are making a surf & turf, ½ lb. will suffice.

“You want a lobster that reacts when someone picks it up. If it’s listless, it’s not fresh,” explains Nobu’s Chef Mell. “The lobster can actually live just fine in your fridge in a Pyrex dish for a few days if you put a wet towel over it.”

A lobster can take off an index finger, so their claws are banded on the boat immediately. If you see a lobster without rubber bands on it’s claws, flee that seafood shop and never return.


Step 2: Killing the Lobster

If you want the full experience (and super fresh meat), you’re going to have to kill a lobster.

Take a deep breath, say a heartfelt thank you to the life you are about to extinguish, and then plunge in. Literally.

“You want to penetrate it straight down through the center of the head,” Chef Mell offers. “The shell is not hard to break if your knife is good and sharp. It dies instantly. Once you’ve stabbed clean through, pull the knife down through the front of the head.”

NOTE: Because of the central nervous system shutting down, a dead lobster will continue to twitch afterwards … for a whole 20 to 30 minutes even. It’s normal. You’re not operating some horrible lobster torture chamber in your kitchen.


Step 3: Cleaning the Lobster

Cut through the body all the way to the tail and remove both claws.

Inside, you’ll find a green paste. This is the tomalley … a.k.a., lobster liver. Tomalley is packed with intense, super-seafood flavor. If you want, reserve this to add to a butter sauce or pan-sear and toss it back in with the meat. For a milder flavor, throw it out. Remove the spinal cord and anything that isn’t obviously lobster meat. You can run the lobster under the sink water to ensure you have only meat left.


Step 4: Cooking the Lobster

Place claws into the boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove and submerge in an ice bath. Set aside.

Brush your entire lobster – meat and shell – with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, and place it meat-side-down on the grill for 3 minutes. Flip and grill 3 minutes on the shell side. Remove the lobster from the grill and set aside.

Crack open the claws using sharp kitchen scissors, extract the meat, and chop it up. Remove the body meat from the lobster, careful not to damage the shell, and chop it. Mix it all meat together and arrange inside the lobster shell. Fry finely sliced garlic in olive oil in a skillet for a few minutes until crispy and browned. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Step 5: Dressing and Plating the Lobster

When a prepared lobster comes through the dining room at Nobu, you had better believe heads are swiveling. Orders suddenly increase. They can plate 50 on a busy night in Hong Kong, and that’s largely thanks to a stunning, colorful presentation.

Place your lobster on a pile of bright green frisée salad. In a cup, whisk extra virgin olive oil, fresh yuzu juice, truffle oil, a pinch of salt and Nobu’s dry miso seasoning to your tastes. Drizzle the dressing over the lobster meat. Top it with chopped chives, fried garlic and a few shavings of black truffles.

“We garnish our dish with lemon slices and bright pink hajikami,” finishes Chef Mell. “You can buy hajikami in any Japanese store. It’s a naturally hot pink vegetable, and we put it in vinegar, sugar, and salt for an hour to lightly pickle it.”

Make sure to tag us on @RobbVices with your Instagram Lobster Adventures.

Apply to be a member!