Once you try this recipe from Justin Walker, chef of Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine, you’ll be obsessed with grilling lobster. The sweet and smoky lobster is topped with a rich curry sauce and a sour, bitter lime pickle for a fragrant seafood dish that screams summer.
We’re big fans of using a grill basket for this dish, because you remove the claw meat to fill the body cavity in order to let all the flesh be exposed to the grill. The grill basket prevents you from losing any of that claw and knuckle meat while making it easier to flip multiple lobster halves at once.
To learn more, read “Shello from the Outside.”
Curried Grilled Lobster
Recipe adapted from Justin Walker, Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, ME
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
For the Lime Pickle:
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
For the Curry Sauce:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons mint leaves
2 tablespoons curry leaves
1 tablespoon garam masala
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 dried chiles, seeded and crumbled
1 shallot, minced
⅓ cup light brown sugar
2½ cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Grilled Lobster:
Four 1½-pound live lobsters
¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
1. Make the lime pickle: Finely zest the limes into a small saucepan. Cut the limes in half, and juice them into the saucepan with the zest. Add the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced to a syrup, 10 minutes.
2. Thinly slice the lime rinds and add to a separate small saucepan. Cover the rinds with water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the blanched rinds. Allow the rinds to cool just enough to handle, then finely chop. Add the finely chopped blanched rinds to the syrup and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens, 2 minutes. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, make the curry sauce: In a medium saucepan, add the butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown and is nutty in aroma, 2 minutes. Add the mint and curry leaves, garam masala, garlic, dried chiles and shallot, and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Add the light brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until dissolved, 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and simmer until thickened, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, then season with salt. Strain the sauce, discarding the solids, and set aside.
4. Prepare the lobsters: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the lobsters in 2 batches for 3 minutes each. Transfer directly into the prepared ice bath. Once completely cooled, place the blanched lobsters onto a cutting board. Split each lobster lengthwise and detach the knuckles and claws. Discard the green innards of the body, then crack open the claws and knuckles, and place the meat on the inside of the lobster bodies in those wells.
5. Light a grill. Brush the cut side of the lobsters with the coconut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the lobsters cut-sides down until cooked through and lightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes.
6. Serve the lobster halves on a large platter cut-sides up, then brush with the lime pickle and spoon over the curry sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.