Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Finalist: Tom Reagan

8:02 AM, Oct 20, 2011   |    comments
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Lobster Chef of the Year Finalist Tom Reagan

Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition 2011


 Slow Poached Maine Lobster Tail Nipponese

This dish consists of a lobster tail poached in lemon butter sauce served atop a

black and white sesame seed coated rice cake with an orange miso coleslaw


Slow poaching Maine lobster tails in a butter sauce is a unique approach to

lobster cookery that results in a very tender, melt in your mouth, meat texture.

This recipe, when properly executed, with colorful garnish to accompany the

brilliant red lobster tail, looks like fireworks on the plate, tastes like a celebration

in your mouth.

By using butter and lemon, traditional Maine lobster flavor enhancers, and miso,

ginger, mirin, rice wine vinegar, tamari, and sesame seed, traditional and staple

flavors of Japanese cooking, a fusion of cultural flavors is achieved. This fusion

should keep us mindful of our Japanese friends during their difficult times and to

demonstrate our similarities as a seacoast culture.

This recipe can be adapted for a starter course, fish course in a multi-course

dinner or as an entrée. The portion presented here calls for 4 ounce lobster tail

as a starter course.

Please read recipes through completely before commencing. Some preparation a

day or two prior to service is more efficient, especially if the chef wants to enjoy

this meal with guests.

Rice Cake Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes


Heavy bottom sauce pot with cover

Stainless bowl

Small Pyrex bake dish or similar

Rubber spatula

Pie pan or similar


4 cups cooked Sushi rice, according to package instructions, still hot

¼ cup Mirin

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

Place hot rice in stainless bowl. Add all ingredients except seeds. Blend very

well with rubber spatula. Place mixture in Pyrex dish, pack firmly, cover with

plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Mixture should be about

one inch deep and may not fill entire dish. Best if left overnight to chill.

Mix black and white sesame seeds together, spread over pie pan or other flat

surface. Cut cooled rice mixture into 2 inch strips and remove dish. Cut into

desired shape with sharp chef knife. Garnish sides of rice cakes by pressing onto

seeds. Rice cakes can be made several days in advance. Refrigerate to store.

To serve, place on sheet pan, heat at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Orange Miso Coleslaw Dressing

Preparation time: 15 minutes


Hand held juicer

Small strainer

Small sauce pan

Fine grater

Electric blender


Plastic squeeze bottle


Zest of 1 orange

1 cup fresh squeezed orange, approximately 4 juicy oranges

1 teaspoon grated ginger

½ teaspoon grated garlic

½ teaspoon wasabi paste

¾ teaspoon tamari

2 teaspoon white miso

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon mirin

½ cup vegetable oil

pinch of salt

Zest one orange then juice all oranges, strain out pulp and place in sauce pan

with ginger and garlic. Reduce to ¼ cup of orange syrup.

Put syrup and remaining ingredients except vegetable oil and salt in blender. On

high speed slowly add oil to emulsify. Season dressing with just a pinch of salt if


Funnel into squeeze bottle for service. Coleslaw dressing can be made several

days in advance. Refrigerate to store.

Bring to room temperature before service. Shake well before using.

Coleslaw vegetable preparation

Preparation time: 15 minutes



Vegetable peeler



1 small zucchini

1 carrot

1 summer squash

1 cup shredded Savoy cabbage

1 cup shredded red cabbage

2 or 3 shitake mushrooms, caps only

Wash carrot, zucchini and squash. Peel carrot and fine julienne it using mandolin

into 1.5 inch lengths. Use mandolin to julienne the outer portion of the zucchini

and squash, the same size as the carrot, being conscious to maintain a uniform

and colorful peel. Shred or finely slice cabbages. Finely slice mushroom caps.

Toss vegetables and mushrooms in a stainless bowl to mix ingredients.

Refrigerate covered until needed. Mix can be made a day in advance.

15 minutes before service toss vegetable mix with miso dressing to taste, about

one-third cup. Check seasoning.

Lobster Tail Preparation

Preparation time: 15 minutes


Stock pot


4, 1 ½ pound, hard shell lobsters

Steam whole lobster for two minutes then remove with tongs. Twist tail off

body. Remove par cooked tail meat, whole. Clean tail of tamale remnants.

Remove intestinal vein, optional.

Skewer tail to maintain shape before poaching.

Save claws and knuckles to make stew or lobster rolls.

Lemon Butter Sauce


Small sauce pan



½ cup Seasoned rice wine vinegar

¼ cup dry white wine

3 teaspoons minced shallot

¼ cup heavy cream

1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, cold

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Pinch salt

Reduce vinegar and wine with shallots to a syrup consistency in sauce pan on

medium heat about five minutes. Add heavy cream to reduction. Reduce cream

for a minute until thickened. Whisk in cold butter one cube at a time until fully

incorporated and just starting to simmer. Whisk in lemon juice and salt to taste.

This is the slow poaching liquid. Keep liquid very warm, approximately 150

degrees. Place lobster tails in sauce and return to simmer. Cover and remove

from heat, let stand about 10 minutes. Return to heat for a minute or two prior

to service.


Place rice cake in center of plate.

Artfully place tail on rice cake.

Garnish with coleslaw.

Drizzle small amount of lemon butter sauce and coleslaw dressing on plate and


Serve immediately.



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