John Torode's lobster rolls

It’s the ‘end of term’ for Phillip & Holly, so John Torode’s making a real treat for us today - lobster rolls!

Lobster tempura roll with caesar salad

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 cooked lobsters (or 12 large prawns) - John suggests asking your fishmonger to lightly cook the lobsters (as it will be cooked further when deep frying)

700ml oil, for frying

60ml soda water, chilled 

100g cornflour, plus 20g to coat the prawns

Pinch of salt

50g self raising flour 

2-3 ice cubes

For the dressing

1 medium egg

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp shallot vinegar

1 garlic clove, crushed

200ml vegetable oil

200ml olive oil

175g freshly grated Parmesan

2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

4 little gem lettuces, leaves separated (or 1 large cos or romaine lettuce, leaves torn into large pieces)

To serve

4 long soft rolls

freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges

Method

*A note of caution: when deep-frying, never leave the pan unattended. Ensure that the handle is not protruding from the stove, and have a tight-fitting lid to hand to cover the pan quickly if the oil should set alight. 

1. Remove the meat from the lobster tail and the claws - I use scissors. Cut the lobster tail meat into 4 long strips and then skewer each piece down the centre so the fish is straight. (If you do not do this it will curl and not lay flat in the roll).

2. To make the batter, mix the chilled soda water with 100g corn flour, salt and self raising flour and whisk to a smooth paste. Drop the ice cubes into the mixture and keep cool. 

3. Fill a large deep pan one-third full with oil and heat to 170C

4. When the oil is hot, stir the batter well, dust the lobster with the remaining corn flour and dip in the batter

5. One at a time, drop the pieces into the oil (cook the claws whole but separately from the tail). Turn up the heat if need be to keep the oil hot. When the lobster starts to float to the top, they should be ready, but don’t cook for more than 6 minutes - at all times the batter should be bubbling in the oil. 

6. Remove and drain on kitchen towel

7. Warm the rolls, spread with a good amount of Caesar dressing and then place in the salad and some of the tempura. Add more salad and some more tempura. Serve the claws on the side with some extra dressing and a few wedges of lemon. 

To make the dressing

1. Whisk the egg, egg yolk, mustard, vinegar and garlic in a large bowl until the mixture begins to thicken and turn pale.

2. Slowly add the oils, whisking constantly, until well amalgamated. Add a little hot water if the mixture seems too thick. Stir in the anchovies and grated Parmesan.

If using prawns

1. Shell the prawns if necessary, but leave the butterfly-shaped tail attached

2. Skewer each prawn down the centre of the body so the fish is straight - if you do not do this the prawn will curl and not lay flat in the roll

3. When the oil is hot, stir the batter well, dust the prawns with 20g corn flour and then dip in the batter

4. One at a time, drop the pieces into the oil (about 5-6 every batch). Turn up the heat if need be to keep the oil hot. When the prawns start to float to the top, they should be ready, but don’t cook for more than 6 minutes - at all times the batter should be bubbling in the oil. Remove and drain on kitchen towel. 

5. Fry the remaining fish as above, and drain