Chefs' Recipes

Analiese Gregory’s lobster and abalone with wakame butter and XO sauce

A decadent dish by mainland standards, perhaps; but not so much in the lobster- and abalone-rich waters of Hobart, according to the Franklin chef.
Lobster and abalone with wakame butterAdam Gibson
4 - 6

“This is somewhat of a ridiculous main course, but not so much in Tassie, because these waters have both crays and blacklip abalone, and I’ve befriended a bunch of people who love to dive for seafood,” says Analiese Gregory. “Really, there’s nothing better than going for a dive or a fish, then cooking your catch with friends who appreciate the same things.”



1.Combine abalone, wakame and 500ml water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook, topping up water as necessary until abalone is tender (1 hour). Remove abalone and cool. Strain liquid and reserve. Finely chop ⅓ cup wakame and reserve.
2.Prise abalone from shells with a large spoon or spatula, reserving shells. Trim off and discard the dark outer frill and guts surrounding the central white muscle, reserving one of the livers (a green-tinged organ). Slice the white meat very thinly with a sharp knife.
3.Pour 160ml reserved lukewarm abalone stock into a blender and add reserved liver to taste – you may not need all of it; it’s quite strong. With the motor running, gradually add butter until emulsified. Season with soy.
4.Preheat a woodfired barbecue until it burns down to hot, white-ashed coals. Spread lobster with wakame butter and place, flesh-side up, on a wire rack just above coals. Cover with a large upturned roasting pan or metal bowl, and cook until flesh is just opaque (15-25 minutes).
5.Meanwhile, return sliced abalone to shells and place on a rack just above coals, shell-side down and covered, until hot (15-25 minutes).
6.Top lobster and abalone with extra wakame butter. Stir a little XO sauce and reserved wakame through abalone and serve with extra XO sauce.

Live abalone are available from fish markets and select fishmongers. Dried wakame and shiro shoyu are available from Japanese grocers; substitute light soy sauce.

RSPCA Australia’s advice for killing crustaceans humanely is to render them insensible by placing them in the freezer (under 4°C) until the tail or outer mouth parts can be moved without resistance; crustaceans must then be killed quickly by cutting through the centreline of the head and thorax. For crabs, insert a knife into the head. This process destroys the nerve centres of the animal.

Wine suggestions 2016 Green Island chardonnay, Birchs Bay, Tasmania; 2009 Jean-Pierre Robinot L’Ange Vin “Enuaj” chenin blanc, Loire Valley, France. Wine suggestion by Forbes Appleby


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