“The San Diego spiny lobster is sweet and delicate, and closer to a spot prawn in flavor than its clawed East-Coast counterpart. In fact the two species are hardly related despite bearing the same name on paper,” writes Nicole Litvack in her article Spiny Lobster Season in San Diego County. “As far as local seafood goes, the spiny lobster is one of the more expensive options. It is a rare and seasonal treat that is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed with loved ones.”
At Saraspe Seafoods (where this recipe is among many), we’ve taken all of our favorite elements from a classic lobster roll and jammed them into one killer dish. This salad can be served cold or hot, spread on a sandwich or served on fancy toast points. Caviar is optional, but it certainly takes the dish to another level of luxe.
Boil the whole lobsters in salted water for 4 minutes. Unless you have a super large pot, you will probably need to cook them one at a time. Remove using tongs and leave to cool.
While lobsters cool, stir together the herbs, butter, lemon juice and ¼ cup mayo.
As soon as the lobsters are cool enough to handle, remove meat from the tails. Working one at a time, set on a flat surface with belly facing down and slice each lobster in half down the center. Remove meat from tails and chop into very fine pieces. Add the chopped meat to the bowl with the buttery herb mixture and stir to completely combine; salting to taste.
Stir the chopped meat into the bowl with the herb mixture until thoroughly combined. Salt to taste. If you’re serving cold, transfer salad to the fridge until chilled and serve with toast points and caviar at your leisure. If serving warm, divide the lobster salad evenly among the 8 halves; stuffing the meat back into the shells. Brush the tops with extra mayonnaise.
Arrange lobster halves on two baking sheets and broil for 5 minutes or until meat is slightly toasted, taking care not to overcook. Remember that not all broilers are built the same. Finish with flaky salt such as Maldon and leave to rest while you prepare the toast points.
Slice the crust off the bread and cut each half on the diagonal to create 16 triangles. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle with sea salt. Broil the first side for 1½ minutes or just until toasted. Use tongs to flip and toast the opposite side for about 30 seconds or until golden. Watch them closely; taking care not to burn. Serve each lobster half with toast points and a spoonful of caviar if using.
Tanner is a true born and raised San Diego girl. After earning a degree in neuroscience from the University of San Diego, she decided to carry on the family tradition and breathe new life into the local fishing industry. At the age of 21, Tanner started Saraspe Seafoods, a small-scale seafood distribution company that works exclusively with local and sustainable partners, including her family’s fleet of vessels in San Diego. Her growing awareness of the need for methods to improve quality and efficiency in the marketplace sparked the fire that brought Local Fish (@getlocalfish) to life. Tanner provides oversight, creativity, mastery, and supervision over all aspects of Local Fish with the goal of supporting local and regional economies through preserving the livelihoods of local fishermen and supporting our working waterfront. Tanner has worked as a manager of a fish processing plant, steering committee member of San Diego Food System Alliance, and director of San Diego Fisherman's Working Group. Her first trip offshore was at two days old on her dad’s lobster boat – she knows her way around a fishing boat.