Frame Recipe: Juicy Oistre’s Rice-Thickened Lobster Bisque

Frame & FRAMEbar > Frame Stories > March 2022: The Shellfish Issue > Frame Recipe: Juicy Oistre’s Rice-Thickened Lobster Bisque

The addition of rice is what makes this lobster bisque recipe special. It’s something I picked up along the way working at Jax Fish House in Denver and other seafood places around the country. Blending the rice right into the soup is a good way to get mouthfeel and body into it without having to add a lot of fat, like more cream or more butter. But it really sets it apart from your other typical lobster bisques, which can be a little thin sometimes.

— By Doug Botsford, Juicy Oistre


2 live lobsters, (approximately 3 lbs total)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup medium sherry
2 cups fish stock or clam broth
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup heavy cream
Cayenne pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste
(Optional) 4 tsp fish sauce


1. Fill a large pot with 1/2 inch of water. Add 2 tsp kosher salt and bring water to a boil. Add the lobsters, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and return the water to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook the lobsters until they are bright red, about 12 minutes. Remove the lobsters, reserving the cooking liquid. When the lobsters have cooled slightly, place them in a bowl and remove the meat from the claws and tail, again reserving any liquid that comes out of the shells. Chop the meat and refrigerate. Roughly chop the shells into small pieces and reserve, along with all the lobster remains.

2. Swirl the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the vegetables and herbs. Sweat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, then increase the heat to medium-high and add the lobster shells and remains. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes, then add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the sherry, then ignite or cook until the alcohol has evaporated. Add fish stock and 1 cup of the lobster-cooking liquid. Add optional fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour.

4. Strain the broth through a colander, pressing down hard on the solids to extrude as much liquid as possible. Wipe out the pot and pour in the broth. Add the rice and cook for at least 30 minutes, or until the grains are cooked to extreme softness.

5. Blend the bisque in a food processor or blender, then pass through a fine sieve, again pressing down hard on what solids remain. Add the cream and bring to a low simmer. Add the chopped lobster meat, let it heat through, then season to taste with salt and cayenne. Serve hot.