Shrimp With Lobster Sauce

Shrimp with lobster sauce is a popular takeout dish despite the misleading name. There isn’t any actual lobster in the dish.

Despite this, millions of people have enjoyed the dish at countless Chinese restaurants worldwide. The shrimp are delicious, and the rich egg and pork sauce is the perfect accompaniment. What’s even better? Lobster is a delicacy that can be enjoyed without spending a fortune.

This is a simple dish to prepare at home. Once you have the ingredients ready, shrimp and lobster sauce can be on the table in under 10 minutes (and that’s being generous).

Where’s the lobster in this lobster sauce?

As a matter of fact, no. Shrimp with Lobster Sauce contains no actual lobster. Then why does it carry that designation?

Was it just a made-up name that the first person to open a Chinese restaurant came up with? Perhaps the dish originally included lobster, but the high price of lobster led to its removal.

The most plausible origin story for this dish is that it was adapted from an older version of a classic Lobster Cantonese recipe using shrimp as a cheaper substitute for lobster.

Chinese restaurants rarely offer lobster in Cantonese anymore. When lobster season returns, you won’t have to worry because we’ll have a Lobster Cantonese recipe on the blog.

Throughout the years, I have perfected the art of making Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

During the summer, I would spend every weekend night in the Catskills resort town, where I grew up peeling and preparing shrimp for at least a hundred orders of shrimp with lobster sauce.

In my father’s Chinese restaurant, where I worked as a teenager, he always had two enormous woks going at once.

Commonly, this dish was being prepared in either of these two woks. The “Polynesian Luau for Two” culminated with a choice between two final dishes, one of which was shrimp and lobster sauce. (How About a Romantic Polynesian Luau?)

I made shrimp with lobster sauce because I realized my kids had never tried it. It was a huge hit with them, and I think you will, too.


  • 8 oz. of shrimp
  • 4 oz. of ground pork (110g)
  • 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine (or cooking sherry)
  • 1 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • fresh ground white pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp. of cornstarch (mixed into a slurry with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 egg (beaten slightly)
  • 1 scallion (chopped)


  1. Shrimp require peeling and deveining. In a large wok, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the ground pork and stir to combine. Pork should be cooked until it is no longer pink, which should take about 1 minute. Rinse the pork in a mesh strainer to eliminate any excess liquid. Doing so will produce a sauce that is much more transparent and spotless.
  2. You should clean your wok and then heat it to medium-high. Stir-fry the garlic, ground pork, and shrimp in the vegetable oil for 10 to 20 seconds. Then, after 10 seconds of stirring, add the wine. Blend the chicken broth, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix in the frozen peas.
  3. When the liquid has reached a simmer, gradually add the cornstarch slurry while stirring constantly. Wait for the liquid to thicken and begin to boil. It should be thick enough to coat a spoon but not sticky. If the consistency becomes too thick, add a bit more chicken stock. Increase the slurry content if the mixture is too thin.
  4. Evenly distribute the lightly beaten egg and scallion across the mixture and cook for 5 seconds. Add the egg into the sauce with a few strokes of the spatula. Accompany with white rice.
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