Lobster is not kosher: Jewish Scriptures prohibit eating all shellfish. Nevertheless, Maine’s Jews have developed a pronounced fondness for one of this state’s signature dishes. Many Jewish Mainers eat lobster even though they would never eat pork, another forbidden food. Others have abandoned kosher food practices entirely. Even those who keep kosher sometimes find ways to enjoy “lobster.” In this family recipe from Barbara Small Fishman of Rockland, the tomatoes give haddock a lobster-like redness.
Mock Lobster Salad
as published in Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America
2½ pounds haddock
16-ounce can stewed tomatoes, broken up
2 stalks celery
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¾ cut mayonnaise, or to taste
1. Place the fish and tomatoes with their juice in a saucepan and
simmer for 10 minutes, covered, or until done. Drain in a colander and
2. Dice the celery. Break the fish into bite-size pieces and mix with the
celery, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Sprinkle with paprika.
3. Serve on a lettuce leaf garnished with fresh cut-up tomatoes or in
the Down East fashion in a toasted hot-dog roll with mayonnaise.