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Baked Lobster with Black Beans

The term "baked", as used on most Chinese restaurant menus, is not strictly correct "pot-roasted" or "pan-baked" is more accurate.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
1 large or 2 medium lobsters, about 800 g (1 3/4 lb) in total
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) finely chopped fresh root ginger
2 - 3 spring onions, chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) black bean sauce
30 ml (2 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
120 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup basic stock
fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

method

1. Starting from the head, cut the lobster in half lengthways. Discard the legs, remove the claws and crack them with the back of a cleaver. Discard the feathery lungs and intestine. Cut each half into 4 - 5 pieces.

2. Heat the oil in a preheated wok and deep-fry the lobster pieces for about 2 minutes, or until the shells turn bright orange. Remove the pieces from the wok and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Pour off the excess oil, leaving about 15 ml (1 tbsp) in the wok. Add the garlic, ginger, spring onions and black bean sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute.

4. Add the lobster pieces to the sauce I and blend well. Add the rice wine or dry sherry and stock, bring to the boil, cover and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

Ideally, buy live lobsters and cook them yourself. Ready-cooked ones have usually been boiled for far too long and have lost much of their delicate flavour and texture.

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