Friday, 8 May 2009

guestChef: Halfdan's Ginger and Lemongrass Lobster Bisque

Well when we feature guests or friends we cook with we generally label it under Food with Friends, and this recipe certainly was made with friends, yet I have to give the credit to this Norwegian man and make a new label - guestChef - which will still be under Food with Friends, but signifies that Charlotte and I took the backseat on cooking this time around. Half here even wrote up most of the recipe...

[borrowed from Juste's photo's]

Basically Charlotte was away with her sis this weekend and I was having some old flatmates (roommates) over for dinner...I get a call from Halfdan telling me that one of his flatmates had just made lobsters and how we needed to capitalize on the this opportunity to make the most amazing stock from the shells. Since we are poor students we did not have lobster to put in the soup so we used organic salmon (which is always fresh in Scotland) but you could use lobster (of course) or any other substantial white fish.

Poached Salmon in a Ginger and Lemongrass Lobster Bisque

Ingredients- Serves 5-6

500g lobster shells, legs, tails and heads
4 shallot onions
2 lemon grass sticks
1 large piece of ginger
6 garlic cloves
1 handful of Parsley
1 bottle of dry white wine
2 leeks
1 onion
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs tomato puree
1 lime
Water to cover
1- 2 cups of fish stock (fresh is best)
Double cream to taste (we used 80 ml).
A large knob of butter (aprox. 60 grams)
Olive oil
500g salmon (around 4 fillets)
Maldon Salt (or any natural sea salt)
Ground pepper


Step 1- Create the basic lobster Stock

Remove the gills from the leftover lobster remains. Dice 4 garlic cloves, 3 shallot onions, half the ginger, 1 leek, half an onion and roughly chop the parsley (save some to garnish later). Cut lemon grass in half and hammer with hilt of knife to release flavor. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and melt butter. Add the chopped and diced ingredients and stir for a few minutes. Add the lobster shells. Crush the shells with a rolling pin or a robust wooden spatula while continuously stirring until the shells are fragmented and seared through. Add 2/3 of the wine. Add boiling water until the shells are covered. Throw in a generous pinch of Maldon Salt and a few pepper grinds. Let simmer for 1 hour while stirring occasionally.

Drain the mixture through a sieve and set aside in a separate bowl.

Step 2- Poached salmon

Finely dice two garlic cloves, half an onion, 1 shallot onion, 1 leek the remaining ginger and lemongrass. Saute ingredients in a saucepan with two swigs of olive oil until golden. Add 1 pint of boiling water and dissolve the fish cube (or add in a pint of fresh fish stock). Add the remainder of the wine and let simmer for a few minutes. Pour in the lobster stock. Slowly add double cream to taste until soup is opaque and cloudy. Squeeze in the lime. Turn off the heat. Place the Salmon fillets in the saucepan and poach for 5 minutes in the soup. Remove the Salmon, peel the skin and divide it between 5 deep plates. Flake into large pieces with a spoon. Add the soup to the plates with a ladle. Garnish with parsley, squeezed lime and salt (optional).

Note: Don’t worry if the salmon is not cooked through completely after 5 minutes. It will continue to cook in the plates when covered by the hot soup and be perfectly soft and pink by the time the first hungry spoon dips into the glory. Perfection. Enjoy!

I love the last note Half leaves us with: 'You can be creative and add other types of fish and mussels at your fancy.'

This is a great and impressive dinner party dish! Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!

Halfdan and Jacqueline


  1. This was so good! glad I was able to crash this dinner party xox

  2. oh my, oh my oh my, does think look scrumptious! Infact I dare to say it looks Forgasmic! Will be trying this bad boy soon!

  3. nom nom nom nom nom
    --Anna V