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Cantonese Lobster

This is one of the most popular Chinese dishes outside China and exemplifies Cantonese cooking. To he truly authentic, live lobsters should be used, but for convenience {and the squeamish!), the recipe has been adapted to the cooked lobsters obtainable at fish merchants or larger supermarkets. The traditional Chinese recipe is complicated in the extreme and is also very expensive–this recipe has therefore been slightly simplified.

ingredients

2 - 4 servings
1 kg (2 lb) Cooked lobster, shell split, claws cracked and sac removed
75 ml (3 fl oz) 3/8 cup Peanut oil
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
piece Fresh root ginger, 7 1/2 cm (3 in) peeled and chopped
125 g (4 oz) Lean pork, minced (ground)
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Chicken stock
1 Tbs Rice wine or dry sherry
1 Tbs Soy sauce
1/4 tsp Monosodium glutamate (MSG), (optional)
1 tsp Sugar
1 Tbs Cornflour (cornstarch), blended with 2 Tbs water
4 Spring onions (scallions), chopped
2 Eggs

method

1. Chop the lobster into pieces and set aside. (You can, if you wish, remove the shell but it is traditional to cook this dish with the shell on.)

2. Heat half the oil in a large, deep frying-pan. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the lobster pieces to the pan and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are heated through. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and keep hot while you make the sauce.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the same frying-pan. Add the ginger and pork and fry until the pork loses all its pinkness. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Combine the wine or sherry, soy sauce, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sugar, then stir the mixture into the pan. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the cornflour (cornstarch) mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and becomes translucent. Stir in the spring onions (scallions) and cook for 1 minute, stirring.

4. Turn off the heat and beat the eggs a few times just to combine them. Gently pour over the mixture, stirring and lifting the sides of the mixture to allow the egg to run over and under. When the egg mixture becomes creamy and slightly 'set', spoon the sauce over the lobster.

5. Serve at once.

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