Plucking the gray hairs out of my Uncle Jose head, I leaded in to sniff his hair, the smell of citrus lemon went up my nose. “Do you wash your hair with lemon juice?” I asked, as he laughed he explained to me that in order to get the smell of fish off him, you have to rub lemon on you. Confused by why he would smell like fish, I questioned him again, “Why do you smell like fish if you work at the pizza place? People put fish on their fish?” Sitting up he laughed again, “No baby, I went fishing this morning and I was out at sea all morning. Afterwards, I rubbed the lemon all over me.” As I sat back and thought about all the things he showed me like, how to make pizza from scratch and farming, I wondered why he never took me fishing.
Yet, there was always a catch with him; every time I wondered something or asked for something, I would have to do something in return. When Uncle Jose used to pick us up after school he took us to work at Jino’s Pizza, so we could eat and do our homework. If we went out to eat and I helped cleaned the table, he would give me coins from other countries. In order to have cable, in the house, my sister and I had to keep our room clean. One day he made a pop up visit and our room was dirty, he took the box away and we didn’t see it for two weeks. That was the worst two weeks of your lives. Needless to say, Uncle Jose was aa fun person but also very serious, the way he put it, “That’s how the world works, you want something you have to do something to get it.”
This time around, he promised to take my sister and I fishing if we didn’t stress my mom out with our petty fights. Mom worked all day and school all night, our little fights was the last thing so needed so my sister and I worked hard on staying out of her way. Fast forward six months, it’s the night before Uncle Jose takes us fishing and I am really anxious. My stomach is tossing and turning and I feel like I’m going to be sick. My anxiety always gets the best of me, I have to be up at two in the morning in order to be at the dock by four. As my alarm goes off, I can’t tell whether my eyes are opened or closed. I bring my hand to my eye. Open. Definitely open. Searching for my alarm blindly I finally get it to shut off and get ready for my big adventure.
Okay, today’s the day I’m going to learn how to fish. After we got dressed and headed to the car, I must have fell back to sleep because before I knew it, we were at the dock. It’s still dark outside but the sky started to have gold strips run across, piercing through the deep indigo, welcoming the sunrise over Marina Del Rey Dock 52 (Appendix A). Sailing out into the open blue, it felt like the wind hit me like the Titanic hit the iceberg. Fishing wasn’t as fun as I thought it was going to be, there was a lot of waiting around, holding the rod or having it balance a certain way so it wouldn’t fall into the deep blue. Often times my sister and I went inside the boat to watch television and drink hot chocolate. When we got a tug on the line it was exciting, Uncle Jose would rush over to help us wheel it in as fast as we can. Many fish we caught we threw back into sea, some we kept inside a cooler with water. The catch of the day was with my sister threw the line out and it got caught onto a seagull. I laughed until my stomach hurt, teasing her about not being able to know how to fish. After wheeling in the seagull, we struggled to free it from its continuous flapping in fear of us. The experience was horrifying and yet hilarious.
After spending hours on the sea we came upon and spot that had lobsters. As I watched my Uncle Jose fight to not get pinched by the lobsters, I couldn’t wait to hold it myself. As he came back on board he showed my sister and I how to boil and cut the lobster. I helped him chop onions, tomatoes, and cilantro to make pico de gallo; while Uncle Jose showed me how to crack open the lobster. Placing the tortillas on the stove and pressing them, my mouth began to water. It was a long trip and it was time to eat what we set out to sail for. As I bit into the lobster taco the juices ran out the corner of my mouth.
Ever since that day, I’ had a true love of trying seafood in other ways and exploring ways to cook seafood. San Diego is a second home to me when my auntie owns a condo off Imperial Beach. On the strip, there are not only great lounges, bars, coffee shops, markets but has the best lobster tacos. Every time I travel that way it’s a must that I stop by IB Forum Sports & Bar Grill. However, driving to San Diego every time I want lobster tacos isn’t idea so my favorite place out here to eat lobster tacos is a place called Lobster & Beer. Today I enjoy the different ways in which lobster is used: pizza, mac and cheese, nachos, burrito, etc. The recipe for lobster tacos is something I use but there are many ways in which it can be done depending on the season.
Lobster Street Tacos
Time: Preparation: 20 minutes / / Cook: 7 minutes // Total: 27 minutes
Lobster (claw or tail meat) (Appendix B)
Pico de Gallo (chopped roma tomato, ½ white or red onion (chopped), 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro, salt, black pepper, ½ lime juice) (Appendix C)
Chipotle aioli sauce
Flour tortilla (or corn tortilla, also can use lettuce wrap as a healthier option)
Lime (Appendix D)
- Preheat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat.
- Cut lobster tail in half (lengthwise alone the spine). Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Grill until slightly charred and shells have a bright color. Remove lobster meat from shells and chop.
- Warm shells
- Place lobster meat in shells and top with pico de gallo, shredded cabbage, chipotle aioli sauce and squeeze lime over them.
- Enjoy! (Appendix E)
- Can make them “Summer” by adding mango as a topping.
- Can have slaw as a side.
- Can use other toppings such as: avocado, cilantro
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