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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


cooking with mom: lobster sashimi

lobster sashimiOne weekend when Mr. Mari and I were at my parents' home, my Mom clapped her hands together and said, "Okay. Tonight, cooking lesson!" I thought it was going to be something like chicken teriyaki or beef tataki. Oh boy was I wrong. I heard the garage door shut and she comes towards me with a plastic bag held high and swinging: "We're making lobster sashimi." Whoa. My Mom had read on my blog that I had never made it. Not wanting to deprive me of this experience, she went and got us a couple lobsters. 

lobster sashimi grossed outFYI - The following images might be a little gross for some, so if you don't have a strong constitution, I suggest coming back tomorrow for a less ooky post. That said, it's actually not as bad as you may think. It's almost no different from eating a boiled lobster, but I thought I should put up a warning - especially for those that have others prepare their lobsters for them.

Like most urban Americans, I don't have to kill food to eat. The meat and seafood shelves, counters and freezer sections at my local Whole Foods, Food Emporium and Trader Joe's are always chock full of beef, pork, chicken, and fish, with seasonal items like sea urchin and sweet shrimp. Other than the shellfish, it's all already dead. And honestly, a freshly shucked clam doesn't have a face so consuming those isn't that difficult. I shouldn't have a problem with killing a lobster since I'm willing to eat it, is what I kept telling myself as I watched my mom bifurcate the first one. 

lobster sashimi cuttinglobster sashimi cutThe two lobsters inside that plastic bag were in a half conscious state - she had put them in the freezer for half an hour to basically daze them. It worked. They were barely moving when she pulled them out of the bag. Holding one lobster down firmly, tail flat on the cutting board, she took a very sharp paring knife and pierced right between its tail and body/carapace, cutting through one side. Then with the knife facing the opposite direction, she stuck the knife in the same spot and cut through the other side. She picked up the lobster with two hands and twisted it 180 degrees. And with a gentle tug, the tail was free. She handed me her knife and told me to do the same. Hold, poke, slice, poke, slice, and twist, done. Not so bad. Especially afterwards when she put the heads in a separate bowl and their antennae could twitch out of my line of sight.

lobster sashimi separatingNow we needed to separate the meat from the tail. It's a lot tougher to do than when you eat boiled lobster. We first carefully cut along the edges on both sides with kitchen shears then pulled that flap back. Once free, we used our fingers to pry it away from each tail segment. If you're not careful, you'll leave precious meat behind. Once completely free, we sliced it thin, pressing on the tail to make slicing easier. 

pickled vegetablesWas it tasty? Was it worth it? Yes and definitely yes. The meat was like eating the boiled version but a whole lot more tender; it happens to be my Mom's favorite type of sashimi. Like eating in a Japanese restaurant, we dipped the sashimi in a soy sauce/wasabi mix and had bowls of sushi rice on hand. We also had some last-of-the-season vegetables from my Mom's garden: Myoga, Japanese cucumbers, and some sato imo

The entire process of "making sashimi" wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, especially since mom dazed the lobsters into a frozen stupor. However, a thrashing live lobster about to be put in a pot of boiling water is still probably easier for me to do than taking a knife to something living. Will I do it again? Probably, but not anytime soon. My final take away: my Mom's a bad ass. 

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