I spend a lot of my time reading cookbooks and cooking magazines. This month, two recipes caught my eye. One was from Portland's own chef Joshua McFadden in Bon Appetit and the other from Dale Talde in Saveur. I recently read Dale Talde's cookbook Asian American, and I feel like I'm a better person for it. While I have a Vietnamese mom and dad, my kids have a Vietnamese mom and American dad, with a Sicilian last name. I have one daughter who is obsessed with Dutch Bros, but she has taken on pork blood in congee repeatedly. The other daughter, though, less adventurous, has been eating tripe from the dim sum cart, calling them noodles. I think she really thinks they're noodles though. Meaning that if you serve chicken tenders and french fries in your restaurant, she'll let me take her there.
I love that McFadden's Faux Lobster Pho is an Italian twist on a Vietnamese favorite. What is pho? Noodles, protein, broth, and herbs. I do things like that all the time in my home kitchen because I like to change things up. I can't wait to try McFadden's food at Ava Genes. I've been told a few times that it is the best restaurant in Portland.
So this recipe is a spin off of the two recipes. I'm using their lobster, noodles, shrimp paste, and pork to combine some of my favorite ingredients for soup in a very cool summer in the Pacific Northwest. I'm still lamenting the cost of wild caught American shrimp up here, because Barton Seaver still insists on it being the best quality shrimp in his latest cookbook. When I lived in Arkansas, I enjoyed having my own purveyor providing me the same great shrimp for half the price at our Farmers Market. Now I just rebel by buying lobster tails instead. I loved the outcome of my efforts.
- 4 cups of shellfish shells from shrimp, crab, or lobster
- 4 (3 oz) lobster tails
- 1/2 pound of wild caught American shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- green onions, chopped
- cilantro, finely choppped
- shirataki noodles or rice noodles
- shrimp paste
- Place the shells in a medium stock pot and cover with water. Add shrimp paste. Bring up to a boil, then simmer for one hour.
- Run a skewer through each lobster tail, then steam for 8 minutes. Separate the meat, and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Chop the shrimp, combine with the ground pork, and form small meatballs.
- Strain the broth. Add the meatballs and cook until they float to the top. Add the lobster meat.
- Serve the broth, lobster, and meatballs with noodles, green onions, and cilantro. Also optional, lime.