Lobster Mushroom Carbonara

  • By Western Living
  • January 1, 2014
  • Yield: 4 servings


Cured Egg Yolk

500 g or 1 3/4 cups kosher salt

250 g or 1 1/4 cups sugar

4 eggs


Lobster Mushroom Stock

20 g or 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

900 g or 2 pounds lobster mushroom stems and trim

230 g or 8 ounces dried lobster mushrooms

400 g or about 4 yellow onions, diced

600 g or about 1 head celery, diced

480 g or about 3 carrots, peeled and diced

65 g or about 1 head garlic, halved

12 kg or about 12 quarts water

230 g or 8 ounces Parmesan rind kosher salt


Braised Lobster Mushrooms

40 g or 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

800 g or 6 or 7 large lobster mushrooms, trimmed

6 kg or about 6 quarts lobster mushroom stock (recipe above)


Monkeyface Eel

1.5 kg or 6 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

500 g or 1 3/4 cups kosher salt

10 g or 1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed

1 monkeyface eel

unsalted butter, in small pieces

kosher salt

chives, finely diced


For the cured egg yolk

Combine the salt and sugar in a large metal bowl and mix well. Transfer half of the mixture to a metal tray, forming a layer about 1/2 inch (12 millimeters) deep. Using a small ladle, create 8 impressions in the mixture, spacing them about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) apart.

One at a time, carefully crack the eggs and place a yolk in the center of each impression, making sure not to break the yolk. Carefully sift the remaining cure over the eggs, and cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 days.

Rinse the yolks in ice-cold water to remove the excess salt, then pat dry on paper towels. Line a dehydrator tray with a silicone baking mat and arrange the yolks on it. Dehydrate the yolks at 135°F (57°C) for 24 hours, until the yolks are firm and slightly dry on the exterior. Store in an airtight container with silica gel packets at room temperature.

For the lobster mushroom stock

Warm the olive oil in a large rondeau over medium heat. Add the mushroom stems and trim and the dried mushrooms and sweat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and continue caramelizing for an additional 10 minutes.

Add the water, increase the heat to high, and bring the stock to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook the stock for about 3 hours, until flavorful. Add the Parmesan rind and turn off the heat.

Steep the rind in the stock for 45 minutes. Prepare an ice bath. Strain the stock through a chinois into a bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the stock. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

For the braised lobster mushrooms

Warm the olive oil in a large rondeau over medium heat. Place the lobster mushrooms on the bottom, in direct contact with the hot surface. Cook the mushrooms, turning as needed, for about 8 minutes total, until light golden brown on all sides.

Add the stock, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cover the surface with a piece of parchment paper and simmer for 1 hour, until the mushrooms are tender. Transfer the mushrooms and stock to a metal tray and let cool in the refrigerator.

Remove the mushrooms from the stock and cut half of them into fine julienne. Reserve the julienne in a portion of the cold stock. Cut the remaining mushrooms into 1/4-inch (6-millimeter) dice and reserve them in a separate portion of the stock.

For the monkeyface eel

Combine the sugar, salt, and peppercorns in a bowl. Remove the fillets from the eel by tracing around the perimeter of each side with the tip of a knife. Insert the blade into the back portion of the fillet and carefully remove it from the frame of the eel, keeping the skin intact. Bury the fillets in the sugar mixture in a plastic container and refrigerate for 1 hour. Rinse the fillets under running ice-cold water and pat dry on paper towels.

Hot smoke the fillets at 125°F (52°C) for 1 hour. Let cool in the refrigerator, then slice very thinly against the grain. Wrap the slices tightly in plastic wrap and hold on ice in the refrigerator until using.

To serve

Put about 90 grams (1 cup) of the julienned lobster mushrooms and about 60 grams (1/2 cup) of the diced lobster mushrooms in separate small saucepans and add just enough lobster mushroom stock to each pan to cover the mushrooms.

Place the pans over low heat and bring to a simmer. Add butter, a couple of pieces at a time, to each pan and stir until the broth thickens slightly and coats the mushrooms. Season the mushrooms with kosher salt.

Evenly divide the julienned mushrooms in small piles among 4 bowls. Place some diced mushrooms and a few eel slices on top of the piles. Sprinkle the chives over the eel slices. Using a fine-tooth grater, grate the cured yolks evenly over each serving.

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