Welcome to this week's 'Eat Like a K-pop Star.' It's the weekly series where we showcase a delicious Korean specialty or something we've seen a K-pop star chowing down on lately and show you how to get or create some food of your own.
There's a surprising new food craze sweeping through Seoul, and K-pop stars are not immune to its charms. Lately, Koreans including Wonder Girls member Yubin are taking culinary cues from Maine and devouring delicious lobster rolls.
Seafood has always been a big part of Korean cuisine (after all, it's a peninsula!) but the country has usually opted for its more local sea creatures like scallops, oysters, and crab. But with lobster prices pretty low and a popular lobster restaurant in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood flourishing thanks in part to excited customers sharing their meals via social media, the lobster roll is suddenly the hottest sandwich in town.
In addition to Lobster Bar, the restaurant that started it all in Itaewon, Koreans are flocking places like Lobster Shack in Gangnam. They're chowing down on both traditional, U.S. East Coast-inspired lobster rolls as well as twists that incorporate a little Korean heat and flavor into the sandwich, like a version with Sriracha mayo or spicy curry.
The sandwich, which is the perfect mix of savory warm bun and tantalizingly cold, fresh lobster, is best eaten at a seaside restaurant with friends and a cold beer. If you can't get to one of Seoul's lobster bars or up to Maine or Connecticut, it's a sandwich that can be made right in your own kitchen.
The lobster roll's genius is in its simplicity. It's not about the time and labor put into crafting this sandwich, it's just about putting it together with high quality, super fresh ingredients.
The key one, of course, is the lobster. Treat yourself to a fat, live lobster and cook that baby up. If you've never done it before, it's not as easy or intimidating as it seems - just follow the first-timers who do it in this video.
After that, the ingredients vary a little but are pretty straightforward. You're going to need a good mayonnaise, some salt, pepper, a pinch of fresh lemon juice, and maybe some extra crunch or flavor like celery, capers, dill, shallots, chives, or chervil.
This is a good video to demonstrate how it gets all put together.
Lastly, stick it in a grilled or toasted bun. Some people love a good, meaty roll that's crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, but your lobster should have such a sweet, fresh flavor that you don't need any help from good bread. Go ahead and toast or grill an ordinary hot dog bun and stuff it to the brim with your fresh lobster salad. Some potato chips and a pickle are good sides, but let the lobster roll be the star here.
There you have it - a summery sandwich that all the K-pop stars are craving these days. Eat up and enjoy!