Lobster Salad with New Potato & Pickled Onion

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While enjoying this lobster salad, Peter told me that I had successfully turned him into a salad lover, and I was very happy to hear that.  For a long time, he didn’t appreciate salads because he associated them with the old iceberg lettuce that he had eaten too much of at the cafeteria during his college years. 

Growing up, I didn’t eat any salad because my mother believed all foods should be cooked before eating.  She had a point there because all the vegetables grown in China back then were fertilized with the most abundant and inexpensive organic material human waste.  however, I have been converted to a devout salad eater since my arrival in the US.  To me, the spirit of the American salad is like the spirit of her culture — with rich and diverse influences and open to infinite possibilities — any food can be a salad. One unique salad that I’m sure most of you have not tried is beef tendon salad in spicy oil.  You can order it in Terra Cotta Warrior, one of my favorite Northern Chinese restaurant in San Francisco.  Terra Cotta Warrior also serves a crunchy pig’s ear salad, which I am yet to try. 

Sky is the limit when it comes to salad.  It can be raw, steamed, fried, pickled or cured; it can be savory, sweet, spicy, tangy or bitter. Or all of the above in one plate.  Need I go on any longer?

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Lobster Salad with New Potatoes and Pickled Onion


1 12-ounces bottle pale lager

5 fresh lobster tails

1 pound new potatoes or small Yukon Gold and/or red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 cups arugula

2 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

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Bring beer to a boil in a large heavy pot. Add lobsters, cover, and steam until shells are bright red and meat is cooked through, 8 — 10 minutes. Remove from pot with tongs and let cool 10 minutes. Crack shells; remove meat.  If you don’t have pale lager and don’t want to make a trip to the market, you can boil the lobsters in water with a few slices of ginger and 1/4 cup cooking wine.

Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 2″; season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 10–12 minutes; drain. Cut potatoes in half or crush them a little with a fork.

Bring vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add onion, bring to boil again and then remove from heat, and let sit 5 minutes; drain. Let pickled onion cool.

Whisk lemon juice and 2 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl; season with salt. Add tarragon, pickled onion, potatoes, and lobster meat; toss to coat. Add arugula, if using, and toss to combine. Drizzle with more oil; season with pepper and more lemon juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Lobsters can be cooked and meat removed 2 days ahead; cover meat and chill. Onions can be pickled 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Potatoes can be cooked 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Bring potatoes to room temperature before using.

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Adapted from Epicurious

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