The origin of one of the tastiest, trendiest dishes of haute cuisine in Ibiza and Formentera is down to chef and businessman, Joan ‘Johnny’ Yern, owner and culinary soul of the famous Es Molí de Sal in Formentera. Johnny has possibly been the greatest driving force, promoter and salesman of this dish that carries his signature and that of his restaurant, and which has been praised by gourmets such as Juan Mari Arzak, a great friend of his, or Ferran Adrià, among many others.
Joan, the originator and creator of fried lobster with eggs and potatoes tells us the details: «I invented this dish, and now it’s world famous. The idea came to me one afternoon when I was out with some friends. I had thought about making a paella, but we were all a little bit fed up with so much rice so I decided to fry a lobster instead. Everyone loved the idea, so we added a few potatoes into the flambéed oil and we all agreed it was a simple, but very tasty meal.»
Yern passionately explains the secret behind this luxurious Mediterranean dish: «The most important thing is to use live lobsters, and how you prepare them for cooking, which is an art in itself. You need to fry everything separately and know how to make a good flambé with the olive oil, which you remove so it doesn’t get mixed in. Like every good culinary creation, there is a correct order for doing things. It’s an easy dish to prepare, using good quality seafood, potatoes, peppers, eggs and olive oil, but like everything, it requires an individual touch.»
Johnny has gone one step further with his recipe, by adding some highly acclaimed country-style sobrasada sausage, which adds a final touch of finesse and local flavour to the dish: «I always strive to offer quality by using fresh lobsters, not frozen from South Africa, or crayfish, like some of my imitators do. I think it’s good that people learn and copy, but you have to stick to the original recipe, and not try and cut corners by using inferior quality frozen products in order to sell the dish cheaper.»
Almost all the restaurants on Formentera have introduced fried lobster with eggs and potatoes on their menus, converting it into a Formentera classic, very appreciated by the residents and visitors, although the price isn’t within the reach of everyone as live lobsters cost around €80 a kilo.
You can also sample this exquisite dish in Ibiza, at restaurants such as Ses Boques, Cas Milá, CBBC.. and in Formentera at Es Moli de Sal, Es Caló, Can Rafalet, Juan y Andrea and Pinatar.