Kabocha Pumpkin Lobster Bisque with Japanese Sweet Potato Chips
Story behind this recipe
This one-of-a-kind recipe fuses together Mitsuki's mother’s traditional Japanese Kabocha pumpkin soup that she grew up eating at the family dinner table, with fresh seafood she caught and speared in the ocean a few miles from my home in Southern California. Mitsuki's mother’s soup is her favorite childhood meal, so naturally I paired it with my favorite SoCal Seafood!
From a young age, the catch and cook lifestyle has been an integral part of how she consume food and represents some of her favorite memories. Mistuki started fishing at five years old off the coast of Fukuoka with her father on his small boat, they called it boat camping and they loved it! Both would stay up all night telling tall tales as they braved the chilly nights and looked forward to tomorrow’s catch. Everything Mitsuki and her father caught they consumed, nothing ever went to wast. Mistuski holds this value of sustainability and honoring the life she took close to her heart and continues to utilize the entire animal in her meal preparations to this day. In Japan, they show respect for their food by saying “itadakimasu” before a meal and “gochisousama” after a meal. By using those words, they are essentially express gratitude for the life the animal lived and promise to honor its life in the meal. These are some of the values Mitsuki brings to her dives and to the spear community as a whole.
Creating unique dishes with her local catches is one of the ways she shows love to the people in her life. It merges her respect for the ocean, with her passion for family. SoCal Dive Babes has quickly become a second family, so naturally designing a dish for them was a full circle experience!
Japanese sweet potato ( regular and purple)
Kabocha pumpkin (pasto 1 cup)
Butter ½ bar
White Wine½ cup
Heavy milk 1 cup
White Fish(Calico Bass) 1
Bay Leaves 3
1. Crispy Japanese Sweet Potato Chips
Cut the regular and purple Japanese sweet potatoes into very thin slices (8 slices of each color potato)
In a deep pot, heat the vegetable oil until it reaches 160 celsius
Once hot place sliced sweet potatoes in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes until crispy. (Airfryer works too!)
Remove potatoes from the oil and place it on a rack or paper towel to remove the excess oil.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and cumin powder to tast
2. Kabocha Pumpkin Paste
Cut a whole kabocha pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.
Slice the kabocha pumpkin into chunks.
Steam pumpkin for about 20-30 minutes until it gets soft.
Remove from pot and let cool until it is warm to the touch
Remove the skin from the chunks.
Crush the kabocha to make a paste by pushing the kabocha chunks through a fine strainer.
3. Lobster Head Preparation
Bring a pot of water to hard boil, enough to submerge the lobster heads
Place the Lobster heads in the boiling water until color turns to bright red.
Take the lobster heads out and quickly rinse it with cool water.
4. The Bisque
Roughly cut ¼ fennel, ½ sweet onion, and 2-4 garlic cloves, put them in a food processor and chop it until it becomes a smooth paste. If necessary, add a small amount of water to make this process easier.
Place ½ bar of butter in a deep pot. When the butter melts, add the onion/ fennel/garlic paste. Cook them on mid heat for 10 minutes.
Put fish, scallops, lobster tails, red pepper, black pepper and herbs in the pot. For lobsters, cut an opening down the side to let broth mix into the tails.
Add ½ bottle of white wine in the pot, let alcohol evaporate.
Add 1.5 cup of water, close the lid, let it simmer for 20 minutes until all the sea food is cooked.
Take the sea food out from the pot and keep them on a side plate to prevent over cooking them.
Add one cup of heavy cream and one cup of kabocha pumpkin paste in the pot, keep staring until the bisque thickens.
Remove the herbs and add salt to taste.
5. Plate Preparation
Spoon the finished bisque into a bowl
Place cooked lobster head at the top of the bowl
Place cooked lobster tail opposite the lobster head
Place scallops and muscles in bisque around bottom of the lobster
Garnish with pumpkin seeds and crispy Japanese Sweet Potato Chips
Cooking By: Mitsuki
Interview & Writing By: Addrianna Love
Video & Photos By: Shelby Jungers