Below is a slideshow of how I got my “money shot” for the Nobu’s Lobster Carpaccio dish. The first shot is the money shot – are you interested on all the other shots that led up to my favorite photo? Which one is your favorite photo?
This recipe is from chef Nobu Matsuhisa, a man whom I respect so much but damn, I can’t afford to eat at his restaurant in Los Angeles! When I was in college at UCLA, I had to drop out for a semester just to afford a meal there. And to think…all the learning that I could have had that extra semester in school I could have probably gone to graduate school, earned a piece of paper that says “MBA,” then gotten a fancy job somewhere in a big tall building with $3,000 expresso machines. THEN after 25 years of climbing the stupid ladder working 80 hour weeks, I’d retire with a ‘do of grey hair, stressed to the hilt and finally have time to stay home and pursue my passions….
which is cook, eat and blog.
Lobster Carpaccio Cooking Tip
What I love about this recipe is that the lobster is actually flash-cooked in a mixture of super-hot olive oil and sesame oil. Instead of putting the lobster into a hot pan…hot oil is POURED on top of the lobster.
This ensures that the delicate lobster slices gets just a barely-there sear. More importantly, the chive/ginger topping gets flash-fried, releasing its flavors. This is the same technique that I use for my Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe
Oh but wait….I think I need to explain something else…..
If you’re vegan or a member of PETA, just stop reading.
I bought a live lobster…and in order to kill it and to make it easier to extract the meat, I froze the lobster for 20 minutes to make it go nighty-night. Then I boiled the lobster for just 30 seconds and immediately plunged it into ice water. This will help you get the meat out without cooking the lobster.
The sizzling hot oil is a technique that Nobu loves to use – it really does release the flavors of the herbs and the lobster. Plus for all the sushi/sashimi scaredy cats, this is a great way to introduce raw fish!
Nobu’s Lobster Carpaccio
Adapted from Nobu West Cookbook
2 pound live lobster
1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger
1 tablespoon Yuzu Dressing (see below)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1. Put the lobster in the freezer for 20 minutes, so it goes into a deep sleep and won’t be aware of the next stage.
2. Bring a pot of salted water large enough to cover the lobster to boil in. Plunge the lobster headfirst into the water for 30 seconds, remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool.
3. Remove the tail and claws from body and use kitchen shears to cut open the shell of the body. Gently extract the tail and claw meat. Slice the tail meat into medallions about 1/4 inch thick or less. Cut the claw met into 1/4 inch thick slices.
4. Place the lobster meat onto a serving plate. Drizzle the Yuzu Dressing on top. Garnish with the ginger and the chives.
5. Heat a small pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and the sesame oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, pour the oil all over the lobster to sear the top.
For the Yuzu Dressing
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon yuzu juice (substitute with combination of orange and lime juice)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 clove garlic, grated (or very finely minced)
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together.
Well I truly enjoyed studying it. This subject provided by you is very practical for correct planning.
I’m so envious! I don’t understand how some people can cook so well and no matter how hard I try, I can’t cook. I mean I can cook but I can’t even enjoy my cooking myself. 🙁
I am so naive I thought he was only in Aspen! I have a picture of us before dinner there with the hot waiters (in black) on my about page. The best seafood ever, especially if someone else is buying! 🙂 Gorgeous photos of the lobster!
As a photographer I would definately agree that the ‘money shot’ is your best – but I would consider burning in the right a little and bringing the dish down about 10-20% of the frame.
Still pretty awesome looking.
alas, getting my hands on live lobster is just not possible here in the pacific northwest, but a girl can dream, can’t she???
ooh! looks soo delicious!! As for the pics, love the money shot, also like pic 2 & 7. I have dreamt of eating at Nobu, hopefully, it will come true in a couple of year, lol 🙂
Such a beautiful dish!
I might need to skip college all together for one decent meal @ Nobu. LOL.
Nobu is the bomb! I wish I could eat there all the time, too. Uh, think I need to win the Lotto to do that. But a girl can dream, can’t she?
Yeah…ALWAYS dream big! Well, big bucks! ~j
Oh man, that looks delicious. Something to celebrate? Not that you need a reason, lobster carpaccio is a celebration in itself. 🙂
Jaden, amazing photography and that dish looks absolutely stunning and delish! I’ve always wanted to go to Nobu.
You are too, too funny!
You going to BlogHer in Chicago? Hope so.
yes! I’m going! ~j
I love Nobu. The first time I went (in NYC) it was on someone else’s expense account and it was heaven. I still dream about the toro tartare with wasabi and caviar, or the spicy creamy crab. This looks fantastic too — I bet the texture is divine.
Expense Account!? woohoo! that’s the way to go! ~j
My daughter and I had the extreme pleasure of dining in Nobu’s restaurant here in Las Vegas. I can still taste those amazing lobster tacos! My lobster tails just arrived for our Christmas dinner so I’m going to try to replicate Chef Nobu’s lobster tacos.
Wish me LOTS of luck!
Looks wonderful! I actually just tried (and adapted slightly for my own budget) his Miso Cod recipe… It was terrific, though I’m sure that’s no surprise
Such a descriptive photo progression towards your “money shot”. Personally I think all of them are good “money shots”, but I agree the cooked lobster looks a bit weird when some of it is cooked while some parts are not.
Loved watching your progression towards the money shot. Beautiful job!
So this is what you did with the lobster..looks delicious! I remember the first time the hubby processed a lobster, he was shell-shocked…
Beautiful! Love the way you described your process – you mentioned ginger – did you shred fresh ginger root? Boy this is just gorgeous – love the hot oil shot! Very helpful to us newbies, and thanks!
Yes, I used vegetable peeler to peel thin strips then a knife to slice super-thin
VERY nice photo essay. I love your money shot and also really loved the hot oil action shot. I’m brand-spankin’-new into food photography so this was really informative. Did you learn by trial and error, read a book, take a class? Your equipment must be really good too. Oh, and I want to eat the lobster right off the screen!
Nice Nobu’s dish! There’s actually a Nobu’s restaurant 10 walk away from my condo in Waikiki, but I also don’t feel like working dinner there into my budget. Maybe one of these days.
I love that photo, but #95 is just as good. I really enjoy the use of natural light (plus it looks delicious)!
Ooh Jaden, nice shots and they look oh so yummy ….Hmm…I really need to buy a lobster!! Besides the money shot, picture #7 is also my favorite
Oh my GAWD!! Nobu is one of my most favorite restaurants. I didn’t have to drop out of school to eat there, just give up food for a couple months after 😉
OMG! I just want to scrape this off my computer screen and grub! These are simply beautiful shots of the lobster…I need to invest in good lighting:)
I am just wondering if the boiling is used for some texture purpose? From what I understand, you can kill a lobster instantly by inserting a sharp knife right behind it’s “head”, and vertically cutting through. That way you have a fresh, cleanly and humanely killed lobster, but without any cooking.
ah. i forgot to explain…i’ll edit the post ~j
Cool slideshow for us process junkies. I do a bit of amateur photography (nature), so I’ll weigh in that #7 is my fave, followed by #9. Love the cascading oil! I see why you went low for the money shot, though.
Yay! Yum. NOBU!!!!!!!!!! : )
Unbelievable… this is something that I think dreams are made of 🙂