Kick up your party with decadent Lobster Truffle Yaki Onigiri!
It's not as hard to make as you might think and it's a perfect appetizer to make for a party.
Everyone needs Lobster Stock
We're going to cook the rice in a lobster ginger stock to infuse it with lobster flavor. You may be surprised to know that lobster stock doesn't really contain any lobster meat. It's mostly made from the body, head and shell of the lobster.
If you have a good seafood monger, they should be able to sell you just the heads and bodies of the lobster. You'll also be surprised at how little they cost compared to lobster tails and claws. I'll provide a recipe for lobster stock here and I'll also show you a shortcut that will be almost as good a making lobster stock from scratch.
- 3 pounds of lobster bodies
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 ribs of celery
- 2 large carrots
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- large chunk of ginger, peeled (about the size of two thumbs)
- 1 medium stalk of lemon grass, pounded
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
- 3 quarts of water or chicken stock or vegetable stock
Place the lobster, carrots, onion, celery, into a large roasting pan and coat with olive oil (if you have truffle flavored oil feel free to use it) Roast for 45 minutes at 375 until the lobster shells are well done but be careful not to burn the shells. Transfer the roasted lobster and veggies to a stock pot and add the liquid, tomato paste, fish sauce, ginger, and lemon grass. Bring it up to a boil then turn down to a simmer, and reduce to 2 quarts. By roasting the lobster and veggies we concentrate the flavor by driving out the water. Strain the stock and it should be a vibrant red color. If we were making a lobster bisque we could also add some cognac and simmer until the alcohol is cooked off. Optionally if you happen to have an industrial strength blender you could blend all the ingredients into a bisque and add some cream or creme fraiche to finish it.
We are going to use this stock to cook our rice in. Use one quart of stock for every 3 cups of rice. You can cook it on the stove top or if you happen to have a rice cooker feel free to use that.
Here's the shortcut !
You can use a ready made Lobster or seafood stock base. Better than boullion has both a lobster and fish stock. Korean markets (Zion & H-Mart) have a variety of seafood soup bases used for making seafood tofu soups and hot pots. Follow the directions on the soup base of your choice and feel free to add other ingredients (Ginger & Lemongrass, tomato paste)
We are going to use langoustines as the filling for the onigiri. You can find langoustine meat frozen at Costco and at Trader Joe's. If you're not familiar with langoustines, they are basically small lobsters. Frozen langoustine meat is usually cooked and only needs to be thawed out to be used. We're going to cook it in the Sous Vide to infuse it with butter, truffle, and ginger flavor. We're going to make a Beurre Monte (butter poaching sauce)
You can simply add the butter, truffle soy and ginger to the langoustine and vaccuum seal the bag and put it in the sous vide, or you can make the beurre Monte on the stove and pour it into the bag of langoustine before you seal it. To make the Beurre Monte all you need to do is put your butter into a sauce pan and start melting it over low heat, you don't want it to separate, we're not making clarified butter here. Add the truffle soy sauce and start whisking it while slowly adding in some water. It's important to continually whisk as we want to create an emulsion of the butter and water, we want to butter to stay liquid even when it is cooled. The butter will be the consistency of a thick cream, think Mexican Crema or creme fraiche. If you have an electric immersion blender use it here. If it gets too loose add more butter, if it breaks add more butter. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Sous vide the langoustine in its butter bath for 30 minutes at 130 degrees.
Fill the bottom of the mold with the warm lobster rice. Add a langoustine in the middle and drizzle some of the butter on top of it and season with shiso furikake and/or truffle salt if desired.
Cover the filling with more rice and compress well. Brush some of the butter mixture on one side and place buttered side down on a flat top grill or in a frying pan, better yet cook it over binchotan charcoal on a Konro Grill.
Brush the top side with butter as well and when the other side cooked to a crispy, golden brown, flip it over and cook the other side.
Finish with truffle seasoning, kuro goma (black sesame seeds) a light sprinkle of togarashi (Japanese Red Pepper mix) and serve immediately while still hot and crispy. Each guest will probably be begging for another one, they won't last long.
If you don't want to grill them you don't have to. They are delicious either way. They will also freeze well if you want to make them for later.