Easter Monday, April 9th, was the last day for fishing West Coast Rock Lobsters here in South Africa until next November.
We initially questioned whether or not we should go out into False Bay since winter has arrived early this year with teaming rain, crazy winds and fridged temperatures. OK so not quite the freezing from my Canadian homeland but for my newly thinned blood, it was and is cold.
Since we had purchased the licenses and it was the last day for catching these tasty critters, we decided to bundle up and head out into the ocean. From afar, the water looked so calm but reality hit hard as Captain Paul navigated his skiff through extremely large swells. Half way to our destination, he asked me if I wanted to turn back, since they were on the larger side but I said “no thank you Paul, we are on a mission!”
Once we arrived just below Cape Point, with sun blazing and nets ready to catch a large haul, we set about our fishing tasks. I drove, Paul set the nets, and Patrick and Gab helped haul in the catch. Sadly, our excitement dampened slightly as the first few hauls brought up tons of seaweed,a rogue water snake and a baby shark. There were no lobsters, otherwise known as crayfish, to be found anywhere.
The day was not a total bust since we did manage to catch 8 large crayfish. As we returned home, the spectacular views as well as the site of fully satiated seal lounging in the water made my fishing trip a monumental success.
Once home, Patrick and I decided to attempt to make our favorite Maine lobster a la South African. We boiled rather than braaied the crayfish and then made a wonderful garlic and lemon mayonnaise to accompany the meat. The outcome was a winner, reminiscent of all the wonderful summers we have spent eating lobster rolls in Maine.
- 4 Crayfish or lobster
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 tbsp chives, chopped[br][b]Mayonnaise[/b]
- 1tsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or a few drops of tabasco sauce
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 C light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 4 Hot dog buns or any sandwich roll
- Rocket for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in lobsters.
- Let cook for 10 minutes until they are red in colour
- Remove from water and let cool
- Break off tails, remove meat and cut up into bite-size pieces[br][b]Mayonnaise[/b]
- Mix mustard, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a bowl.
- Add a few drops of oil to create an emulsion (thickened consistency)
- Keep adding oil in a thin stream, being sure that the sauce is thickening.
- Taste and season to your taste
- You will have leftover mayonnaise to use on sandwiches[br][b]To assemble [/b]
- Mix celery, chives and a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise together with the lobster meat
- Grill or warm rolls.
- Cut open and add some lettuce or rocket
- Add lobster meat mixture and top with a dollop of additional mayonnaise
- If you do not want to make your own mayonnaise then use Japanese mayo and add the lemon juice and seasoning.
First important item of business is to remember to always bring a container for your crayfish. We used a stray plastic bag from the ocean, which was not highly effective. They were able to escape leaving a trail of fish poo behind.
Once cooked, these little bottom feeders turn bright red and are ready to be eaten. I often dip the legs in butter and suck out the meat. Yum…
Once the meat is removed from the shells and chopped into bite size pieces, you can add the chopped celery and chives.
The mayonnaise is quick to make. Keep the egg white in the freezer for use in a pavlova or an omelet.
Once the Mayonnaise has reached the correct consistency and taste, add to the meat by the tablespoon. Use as much or as little as you want. Remember that it is easy to add a sauce but not so easy to remove it.
I add very little mayonnaise to the meat and finish it off with a topping once it is in the bun.
Be creative, make your own lobster roll and enjoy this treasure from the sea.