This shellfish stew is all about adding each type of shellfish at the right time so that the seafood doesn't overcook. The perfect accompaniment? Zimmern's lightly grilled vegetables with miso sabayon.
To learn more, read "A Very Shellfish Act."
Dashi-Braised Shellfish Stew
Recipe adapted from Andrew Zimmern
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound head-on shrimp, peeled and deveined with heads still intact
½ cup sake
1 cup dashi
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-long strips
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
1 whole dried red hot chile
¼ cup thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts), divided
One 2-to-2½-pound live lobster
12 cherrystone clams, scrubbed clean
1 pound mussels, rinsed with beards removed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sushi rice, for serving
1. Preheat a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. Add the shrimp in a single layer and sear on one side until lightly browned, 1½ to 2 minutes. Flip and sear the other side for 1 more minute. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
2. Add the sake, dashi, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, fennel, chile and half of the scallions. Bring to a boil. Add the lobster and cook, covered, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the lobster to a cutting board. When it's cool enough to handle, remove the lobster meat and portion it into 4 bowls. Add the lobster head back into the wok.
3. Place the wok over medium heat. Once the liquid has come to a simmer, add the clams and cook, covered, for 4 minutes. Add the mussels and cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved shrimp back into the wok and add the butter. Stir the contents of the wok very gently until the butter is fully incorporated, 1 more minute. Discard any clams and mussels that do not open.
4. Divide the clams, mussels and cooked shrimp among the 4 bowls. Pour the broth over the shellfish, making sure to get a little fennel into each bowl. Garnish with the remaining scallions and serve with sushi rice.