12.362 Lobster, Crassly

Cycle 12 – Item 362

2 (Sun) January 2022

Lobster, Crassly

3.5

by me

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Almost exactly 25 years ago (winter of 1996), at a fancy steakhouse in San Francisco, I had the foolish audacity to order a 10-lb (4.5-kg) lobster for myself – “Gimme the biggest one you got!”  I was employed as a paralegal at a multinational law firm (my first job out of college, before law school).  A vendor that provided photocopying services treated the team to dinner (any given case would generate billions of pages = millions in fees).  At an estimated 20% yield, a lobster of that size would be about 900 grams of meat.  Confident that I could finish the whole thing, I saved the tail for last but got so full that I barely touched it.   When I look back at the incident now, I’m embarrassed by the crass overindulgence (I was young, giddy by the sense of privilege).  I also drank so much Scotch – $50 a shot – that I threw up in the train (BART) on the way home.

Beyond his ability to comprehend.

Fast forward to the present, I was shopping for groceries at E-Mart when I had the foolish audacity to purchase a 2.5-kg lobster for myself – “Gimme the biggest one you got!”  At an estimated 20% yield, a lobster of that size would be about 500 grams of meat – no problem.  I was still a miffed by the low-key dinner on my birthday, so I felt entitled to crassly overindulge.  When I got home, I announced that I would not be sharing.

Doh, the lobster wouldn’t fit in the steamer.

The problem wasn’t the capacity to eat.

The problem was the capacity to cook.

Even with the triple burner roaring on high, it took 30 minutes to get the water to the boil.

Initially, the lobster wouldn’t fit in my 14-liter pot, the biggest cooking vessel that I have.

Eventually, after the lobster loosened up at the joints, I managed to squeeze it in.

Ultimately, I shared.  At first, the others seemed content eating their own food, not at all disturbed that I was going at the lobster alone – apparently, such asshole behavior by me is to be expected.  But eating the lobster by myself wasn’t much fun.  When I offered the claws, they declined.  “What are we, bums?!” – in this family, lobster claws = scraps for the homeless.  So, I gave everyone a piece of the tail.  In the end, I got about half of it.

220 grams.

Incidentally, the lobster cost 2,526 g x 59.80 won = 151,055 won.  Assuming 500 grams of meat, that’s 30,000 won per 100 grams.  To put that into perspective, the most expensive hanwoo is about 16,000 won per 100 grams.

(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)

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