Keembay Lobster Salad

Edel Byrne's signature dish from Heat 3 of MasterChef 2014


  • 1 lobster (gerrard hassets keembay lobster, preferably male)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 lemon
  • 100 g quinoa
  • saffron x 5 g
  • vegetable stock x 1 ltr
  • 2 apples (irish pls, eg irish peach, kerry pippin)
  • champagne vinegar 100ml
  • caster sugar 100g
  • coriander
  • coriander seeds 15g
  • basil
  • beetroot x 2
  • 1 orange
  • ground cumin
  • 2 x ripe avocado (1 for salad plus 1 spare)
  • black garlic x 1 clove
  • extra virgin olive oil (preferably italian)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 x carrots
  • sunflower oil


  1. Place lobster in iced water for 15 mins before cooking
  2. Bring water to boil in large pot, add lemon, bay leaves, celery and star anise
  3. Place 400ml stock in a saucepan with pinch of saffron and bring to boil
  4. Add the quinoa to the stock and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes, at this stage the quinoa will have absorbed most or all of the stock. Put in a clean bowl & cover with cling film. Set aside to cool, as it cools the quinoa will absorb any remaining stock. Check for seasoning and adjust salt if needed.
  5. To make the beetroot puree, chop the beetroot onto small chunks and place on a baking tray with oil, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tblsp orange zest. Cover with foil and roast for approx 20 mins at 180. Check after 20 mins, the beetroot should be soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before making the puree. Peel the beetroot (wear gloves to protect your hands), blend until smooth and add a small amount of stock or water if the puree is too thick. Check seasoning and set aside.
  6. While the beetroot is roasting, dissolve the sugar in vinegar for the apple pickle. Add coriander seeds. Peel the apple and make balls using a melon baller. Add to the warm pickling liquor and set aside to cool.
  7. Take the lobster out of the freezer and cook for 7-8 mins in the large pot of boiling water. When cooked put the lobster in iced water to stop the cooking and make it easier to handle.
  8. To prepare the lobster, remove the head and claws. Turn the tail over and using a kitchen scissors cut either side of the flat belly shell. Lift the flap and carefully remove the tail meat in one piece. Cut into slices and use a small sharp knife to remove the intestinal trace from each slice.
  9. For the carrot crisps, first put the sunflower oil in a saucepan to heat. While that’s heating wash the carrot & cut into thin ribbons using vegetable peeler. Put on kitchen towel to dry before frying. Fry for 1 minute until crisp and place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
  10. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Using the melon baller scoop out 4 portions.
  11. Season with salt & squeeze of lemon juice
  12. Black garlic:
  13. Peel & finely slice
  14. Coriander & basil:
  15. Wash & pick small leaves for presentation
  16. To plate up:
  17. Make a “swish” on the plate with the beetroot puree
  18. Spoon quinoa onto puree
  19. Place apple balls on quinoa and a slice of black garlic on top of each apple ball
  20. Place avocado balls on quinoa
  21. Scatter herbs & carrot crisps over quinoa
  22. Arrange slices of lobster tail on opposite side of the plate & season

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