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J Sheekey lobster & samphire tempura with chilli jam and charred lime

Made at J Sheekey | Serves 4-6

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2 lobsters (600g each)
200g samphire
150g tempura flour
500ml ice cold sparkling water
2 limes, halved
Sunflower oil for frying

For the chilli jam
1 ½ medium sized red onions, sliced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled & grated
4 medium-sized mild chillies, seeded and chopped
400g fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
200g caster sugar
40g brown sugar cubes
250ml rice wine vinegar
20ml fish sauce
15ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground white pepper

To make the chilli jam, place all the ingredients (except the olive oil) into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook on a medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and liquidise until smooth. Return to the saucepan and continue to cook on a low heat for a further 10 to 15 minutes.

Place into a covered bowl or kilner jar, cover with the olive oil and put into the fridge to cool. This can be made well in advance and used for many different dishes.

Pre-cook the samphire by bringing a saucepan of water to the boil (don’t add salt as samphire is naturally salty); add the samphire and cook for about 30 seconds until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon, plunge into iced water and drain. Keep to the side.

For the lobster, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil; add the lobster (you may have to do these separately, depending on the size of your saucepan), and cook for 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to cool slightly. Remove the meat from the lobster while still warm (the method is fully outlined in our book J Sheekey Fish, available on Amazon and all good book stores). Keep to the side.

Heat a splash of oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the limes and cook on a medium heat, flesh side down until it is golden brown (about 2 minutes). Keep to the side.

In a large mixing bowl, slowly add iced sparkling water to the tempura flour. Whisk continuously until you get consistency of pouring cream. Place the lobster and samphire into the batter and season. Pour 6cm of oil into large heavy-bottomed saucepan or a deep fryer. Heat to 160°C. If using a saucepan, please be careful, as the oil will be very hot. Fry the lobster and samphire until golden brown. Remove with tongs and place onto kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Season if necessary.

To serve, place a spoonful of chilli jam onto each plate and arrange the lobster and samphire on top, along with the charred lime halves.

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