There is nothing quite like the Cantonese ginger scallion lobster served at a traditional Chinese wedding banquet. The fresh lobster in this dish is prepared in a style that is one of my favorites at Chinese banquets. At most banquets, ginger scallion lobster appears as the sixth course of a 10-course feast, so plan accordingly. Even after a spread of cold cuts and jellyfish, roasted chicken, steaming fish, abalone with bok choy, and mayonnaise shrimp with candied walnuts, we all know that when the lobster rolls along, you MAKE space.
Commonly seen in Cantonese restaurants, this lobster dish is made with cold water lobsters from places like Maine or Boston. Most Americans, it seems to me, associate lobster with Maine, but many Beijingers know that the greatest cold-water lobsters come from Massachusetts’s own Boston. In the end, these delicious crabs are completely cornered in the New England area.
Despite being the season’s final month, December is consistently regarded as one of the greatest months to go lobstering. In most cases, you may find them on the shelves of your neighborhood supermarket and sometimes even at a discount.
The processing of live lobsters is not for the faint of heart and can be quite a challenge for those who have never attempted it before. However, if you’re game to give it a shot, we’ve laid out the procedure for you. If you’re still not confident, you can substitute frozen lobster tails for the fresh ones or have the fishmonger split the lobster for you so you can use just the claws and the tail.
- 2 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds of live lobsters
- 6 slices of ginger
- 3 scallions (2-inch pieces)
- 2 cups of oil
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
- Chill the lobsters for 10 minutes in the freezer. Doing so reduces their metabolic rate, desensitizes them, and makes them more manageable.
- Take off the lobster’s head to kill it. These can be thrown away, or if you want to maintain them for presentation (as is done in most restaurants), trimmed so that they stand erect on the plate.
- A cleaver or chef’s knife can be used to remove the mouth section of the lobster head. Remove the lobster’s claws (either by twisting them off or cutting them off) and its smaller legs. Put them to one side.
- The gills of a lobster are not edible, therefore remove them before eating. It’s time to get rid of the green mustard and the guts and sand inside inside. Put the lobster in a colander and run cold water over it to clean it. You can either toss the mustard or include it in the recipe. As some people don’t care for its robust flavor, we omitted it.
- Lobsters may be easily cut in half by slicing lengthwise from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. Separate the upper region of each half from the tail segment (which contains a surprising amount of meat). Divide the tail into halves and then each half into thirds so that you have six pieces of tail flesh. This can be modified for different-sized lobsters.
- With a cleaver, cut each claw in half at the elbow joint (using a mallet may help).
- Once you’ve rinsed the lobster and patted it dry with a paper towel, set it aside to drain.
- To coat the lobster, lightly dredge it in the flour and cornstarch mixture that has been placed in a wide, shallow bowl. Only the exposed parts of the meat should be dredged in order to prevent the juices from escaping.
- At this point, the lobster is typically deep-fried in a massive wok to swiftly seal in the fluids at many restaurants. Although this takes only around 20 seconds, we will need to use a smaller pot and fry in batches at home. The sensitive meat is protected from overcooking thanks to the flash-frying technique, which also improves the flavor, color, and texture of the lobster without cooking it through completely.
- Put the lobster in twos and drop them into the hot oil (at 350 degrees F) for about 10 seconds. Transfer to a plate for draining. A quick change to a bright red color for the shells is expected.
- In order to complete the meal, heat a squeaky-clean wok to very high temperatures. Place the ginger in the wok and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir-fry the ginger for 30 seconds, or until it releases its aroma.
- Mix in the lobster and the white parts of the scallions. Put the stir fry on for 20 seconds with the heat as high as it can go.
- Cover the wok after pouring the wine over its rim. Please wait around 2 minutes before serving. This process “bakes” the ginger and scallion flavor into the lobster.
- Open the cover and add the remaining scallions, sugar, white pepper, and sesame oil. Add another minute of stir-frying time. If the wok is dry, add a few tablespoons of water. Serve!