Recently I had a lobster paella at a Peruvian restaurant in Brooklyn. We had tons of food and couldn’t finish everything. Guess who took home a  whole lobster?


Cucumber Flower with lobster meat as pollen

Creating a Cucumber Flower

Back in my apartment, I didn’t want to just eat the lobster. My eyes wanted to feast, too.

My shelf has two books from the 1980s on food garnishing,  Time to get creative with the crustacean!

First, I carved a flower from a cucumber. For the pollen, I used meat and fat from a lobster claw.

Also, I cut an avocado into slices, then put lobster meat on top.


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No Pick? No Problem!

My kitchen doesn’t have any fancy tools for extracting lobster meat. No picks for scrapping clean the legs, or crackers for breaking the hard claws.

The legs weren’t a problem. I snapped them with my bare hands.

As for the claws, I wrapped a paper towel around one of them. Then, I hit the claw a couple times with a meat tenderizer.

It worked. The hammer-like tool broke the lobster’s hard shell, but didn’t squish the meat inside.


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Cucumber Coil

I made a cucumber coil topped with lobster fat. First, I stuck a chopstick through the center. Then, I cut round and round with a paring knife.

Finally, I drew the fat across the cucumber, using the chopstick.



Paella and Pasta

Here’s the seafood paella from Chimu, the Peruvian restauran in all its glory. It included a whole lobster, a duck leg and a chorizo sausage, as well as shrimp, scallops and mussels.

We also had a skirt steak served with pasta. The sphagetti was coated with a pesto made from walnuts. Normally, pesto is made with pine nuts.

The steak came with chimichurri as dipping sauce.


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Shrimp? Shrimps!

By the way, my friends tease me because I have a habit of saying “shrimps,” “fishes” and “equipments.”

Chinese is my first language, and it doesn’t have plural nouns, When you speak Chinese, you would say “I ate 10 lobster tonight” instead of “I ate 10 lobsters.”

English plurals often confuse me. So I add “s” to a word to make it plural.

Sometimes, it just doesn’t work. It’s like adding ice cream to lobster paella.