What is Poor Man's Lobster? Is it one thing, or is it just a term used to describe dozens if not hundreds of fish. I was at work the other night taking care of an old vet and we got on the topic of fishing. He told me that they used to catch Northern Pike and then fillet them leaving the y-bones in. They would then soak the fillets for three days in vinegar to soften the bones. After that they would rinse the meat and then boil it in sugar water and serve it with drawn butter. He then called it "Poor Mans lobster". I have heard so many people tell similar stories to that. I would be willing to bet that everywhere you go you will find a different version of "Poor Man's Lobster" and they all claim that by cooking some usually less than desirable fish in some ridiculous manner it tastes just like lobster.
I started thinking about this "poor man's Lobster". Do any of them actually taste like lobster? How many different versions are there? I went on a couple of Facebook forums and asked what everyone considered "poor man's lobster". I got a hundred responses from Gar boiled in 7-UP to Black fish Poached with lemon and served with butter. I decided that I was going to try them all, or at least as many as I can.
I decided I would start with the original poor man's lobster, Lobster. In the early days of the colonies Lobsters were considered garbage food. Up until the later 1800's lobsters were so plentiful and undesirable that they were fed to prisoners and livestock. It wasn't until that late 1800's that people further in from the coast were traveling out to the coast and finding lobsters and eating them. They realized how good they were and started transporting them into the bigger cities where they were sold for a premium. Today of course lobster is regarded as a delicacy.
I am going to try and make this a regular post and try as many different types of "poor man's lobster" as I can find. If you read this and have a recipe that I should try please send it to me and I will post it on here. I will try to make at least one recipe per month. Since most recipes for "poor man's lobster involve dipping it in butter I am going to make every version two ways. The first will be with butter and the second will be made into one of my favorite ways to eat lobster. The lobster roll.
My Lobster Roll
1 cup chopped lobster meat
1 large spoonful of mayonnaise more or less depending on how much you like mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 stalk of celery finely chopped
1 green onion thinly sliced
1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning.
Mix all ingredients together and serve on a toasted hot dog bun or Brioche roll.