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May 2003 BOSTON II

Lobster à la Thai
Chef Marc Orfaly of Pigalle - Boston, MA
Adapted by StarChefs


Yield: 4 servings


  • 5 1-pound lobsters
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 bottle Sherry wine
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 celery stalk, diced small
  • 1 head fennel, diced small
  • 1 leek, diced small
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh lemongrass
  • 4 kefir lime leaves
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 ounces pumpkin seeds
  • 2 ounces watermelon seeds
  • 2 ounces cinnamon sticks


Prepare the lobster by separating the shells from bodies, and removing the gills. Reserve the coral, tamale and all juice from the bodies. Crush the shells and reserve.

Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Dice the whole butter, and add to pan. Melt butter until brown and frothy. Add lobster shells and cook until the shells turn red. Add the tomato paste and caramelize with the lobster bodies. In a separate pan, lightly sauté the diced vegetables. Deglaze pan with the bottle of sherry, and reduce. Add chicken stock, enough to cover lobster bodies. In a third pan, toast all seeds over low heat and add to stock. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for a half hour. When finished, strain by first pressing the shells through a china cap and then through a fine chinois.

For the Lobster:
Preblanch lobster claws and let cool and shell while still warm. Cut tail in half.

Reheat Lobster in claws in over low heat. Season Lobster tails, sear flesh side down over high heat in clarified butter. Cook until shell begins to turn red. Shut off heat and flip shells over for about 1 minute. Transfer and let rest.

To Plate:
With a spoon, form a light ball of vegetables and place in the center of the bowl. Arrange the claws around the vegetables. Remove tail from shell and arrange around vegetables. Pour broth over lobster to cover.

Serve with a bowl of steamed rice, preferably jasmine garnished with scallions.