lobster cantonese

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lobster cantoneseLobster Cantonese is one of those nostalgic dishes from yesteryear that you can still find at old-school Cantonese restaurants. The earthy sauce of black beans and pork coats the lobster beautifully, but is still light enough for the sweet, delicate flavor of the lobster to shine through. Though it may seem intimidating, the dish is actually quite easy to prepare, if you’re able to have your fishmonger cut the lobster into pieces for you. Then it’s all a matter of lining up the ingredients and stir-frying. If you’re feeling brave and want to do the cutting yourself, see the note below, but have your fishmonger kill the whole lobster for you.


  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans
  • 1½ tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons julienned fresh ginger
  • ¼ pound ground pork
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1½ pounds whole uncooked lobster, cut into 12 pieces, or
  • 1½ pounds lobster tails in the shells, each tail cut into
  • thirds (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • special equipment
  • Wok or deep 14-inch skillet with lid
How to Make It
  1. 1. Rinse the fermented black beans to remove any grit. Drain and mash the beans lightly with the back of a spoon.
  2. 2. Heat a wok or deep 14-inch skillet over high heat. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the scallions, garlic, ginger, and black beans and stir-fry briefly until just aromatic, about 30 to 40 seconds. Add the pork and cook until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. 3. Pour in the chicken stock and rice wine and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the lobster pieces and reduce the heat to a simmer. Toss with a spatula so the lobster is well coated with the sauce. Cover and allow the lobster to steam for about 5 minutes, or until the lobster’s shell is red and the meat is opaque.
  4. 4. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Drizzle the sesame oil over the lobster. Make a well in the middle and pour the egg over the sauce in a thin, circular stream; the egg will cook immediately and look like white strands in the sauce. Toss the lobster once more to coat it with sauce, then transfer to a platter and serve.

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