Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maine Lobster in Oyster Sauce (serves 4)

This is a delicious dish that my parents often prepared for our family.  This dish usually does not last very long!  My father prefers to make this with tender Chinese chives or garlic chives.  Either way it is finger licking good!!  

Maine Lobster in Oyster Sauce (serves 4)


4 fresh Maine lobsters* (about 1 1/4 lb each), cleaned and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 small white onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely grated ginger
4 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
Hot chili pepper (optional)
1 bunch of scallions, Chinese chives, or garlic chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp room temperature or cold water


1) Clean the lobsters well in cold water.
2) Separate the heads (known as the lobster body) from the tails using a cleaver or a large knife.
3) Cut each head in half lengthwise (use a pair of scissors if you have soft shell lobsters, use a large knife or cleaver if hard shell), cut the tips (pincers) off the walking legs.
4) Remove the mouth, eyes and antennas.
5) Cut the tail in half lengthwise and remove the intestine, cut each half tail into 1-inch pieces.
6) Save the roe and part of the tamale (liver) if interested.
7) Section each claw.
8) Heat oil in a large pan over high heat.
9) Add onion and cook for 1 minute or until onion is translucent.
10) Add garlic and ginger and stir for about 1 minute.
11) Add lobster and cook for 15-18 minutes, the lobster shells will turn pink and the meat will turn opaque when cooked.
12) Stir in oyster sauce, sugar, ketchup and chili pepper and cook for 1 minute.
13) Add scallions or chives and cook for 1 minute.
14) Remove the lobster and place them on a large platter or plate and reserve the juice in the pan.
15) Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until well blended and add this to the pan and stir for 1 minute.
16) Drizzle the sauce over the lobster and serve with rice.

my mother holding up Maine lobsters
(Maine, 2011)
cut the lobster tail in half using
a pair of scissors if the shell is soft
use a heavy large knife or a cleaver
to cut the harder shell in half
cut the each tail in half as shown
cut each half of the tail into
manageable bite size
(about 1 to 2-inch pieces)
the lobster pieces should
look like these
discard or use the lobster body
(aka head),
remove the antenna,
cut each body in half
once the body is cut in half,
cut the tip of each walking legs
(they look like little pincers)
my mother tells me she does this so the
sweet juice
will come out when cooking
cut off the tip (about 1-inch) off the
body this will remove the eyes,
antennae and antennules
the lobsters are all cut up and
ready to be cooked
*The soft shell Maine lobsters tend to have more water in them and this can make your dish salty.  This dish should not be too salty or too sweet.  Adjust the amount of sugar as needed.  If you are afraid to cut up the lobsters while they are alive you may freeze them for 10 minutes and then cut them up.
*The best lobster meat comes from hard shell lobsters.
*AVOID eating any lobsters that have died.  The lobster meat deteriorates very rapidly once a lobster dies.  Freshly cooked lobster meat should be firm in texture.  Never eat any lobster meat that is soft and mushy in texture.

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