Set the tone for your Christmas dinner with this impressive, luxurious starter: a Vietnamese-inspired salad that pairs meaty lobster with sharp grapefruit and a wonderfully fragrant sweet and sour dressing.
To make the dressing, trim the base of the lemongrass stalks and peel away the tough outer layers of each stalk to reveal the softer core. Thinly slice this from the base upwards, stopping when the stalk becomes tough and difficult to chop. Combine the chopped lemongrass with the ginger, red chilli, sugar, fish or soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and lime juice in a bowl.
To remove the meat from each lobster, first remove the netting and twist the claws from the body to remove them. Break the arm from each claw and crack open the claws to extract the meat in large pieces, or even whole, if you can. Crack open the shell of the arm to extract the arm and the knuckle meat. Twist the tail to remove it from the body. Push the tail meat out from the base (you may need to twist the very end of the tail off first) in one piece. Slice in half, lengthways. Pull the pale, spongy gills and stomach sac away from the body. Pick out the remaining meat, picking out the thin, shell-like membranes as you do so. Discard the empty body, gills, stomach sac and other pieces of empty shell.
Toss the lobster meat with the grapefruit, coriander, mint and dressing. Divide between 4 serving plates and scatter with the chopped peanuts to finish.
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