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Alain Ducasse’s Lobster Thermidor


Units Scale
  • Lobster Sauce:
  • 4 female lobsters, 1 pound (500 g) each
  • black peppercorns
  • dried fennel
  • fleur de sel
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (1 cl)
  • ***
  • Head Filling:
  • 1 3/4 ounces oven-dried tomatoes (50 g)
  • 1 ounce Meaux mustard (30 g)
  • 1 ounce breadcrumbs (30 g)
  • 1 3/4 ounces softened butter (50 g)
  • 20 tarragon leaves
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan (30 g)
  • 1 ounce chopped cooked lobster roe, from the lobster (30 g)
  • ***
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup lobster jus (20 cl)
  • 1 1/2 ounces butter (40 g)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil (2 cl)
  • the cooked roe from two of the lobster heads
  • 5 leaves tarragon, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • fleur de sel
  • 1/3 ounce Meaux mustard (10 g)
  • Filling for the Lobster Tail
  • 14 ounces button mushrooms
  • (400 g)
  • 10 1/2 ounces baby spinach (300 g)
  • 1 tablespoon cream (5 cl)
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • fleur de sel
  • 1/2 ounce brown butter (15 g)


  1. Cook the lobsters in salted water flavored with dried fennel and black pepper. Allow 3 minutes’ cooking time for the tails and 5 for the claws. Shell the claws, making sure to remove all cartilage, then shell the tail, being careful to keep the shell whole. Remove the insides from the heads, including the sand sac, and devein.
  2. Cut away the top part of the heads with a pair of scissors. Split the tails and shells in two lengthwise. Wash the shells in a large amount of water, making sure all the undesirable parts are removed, and dry carefully.
  3. Mix the softened butter with the chopped oven-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, lobster insides, cooked roe, minced tarragon and Meaux mustard. Place both knuckles in the head, and top with the filling and the breadcrumbs.
  4. Reduce the lobster jus, add the butter and roe to bind, then add the Meaux mustard. Flavor with chopped tarragon, a drizzle of olive oil and some lemon juice. Season to taste with fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Wash and separate the spinach leaves. Cut the mushrooms into slices, keeping only the white parts. Wilt these slices in brown butter, then add the spinach leaves. Thicken with a tablespoon of cream, and season with freshly ground pepper and fleur de sel. Separate and wash the watercress.
  6. Broil the filled lobster head. Fill each of the lobster tail halves with the spinach mixture, then place the half-tails in their shells and top with sauce. Broil to reheat.
  7. Plate the stuffed head at the top of the plate and arrange the pieces of tail like a fan. Place a drizzle of sauce around the lobster.
  8. Heat the claws in the sauce, then plate them with the bouquet of watercress. Season with olive oil, fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  9. This recipe was originally published in “Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse” (Éditions Alain Ducasse).

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