I cooked this on New Years Eve and received many requests for the recipe. It's a simple dish, the only difficulty that may be presented is if you are reluctant to kill and chop the lobster yourself. That being the case I'm sure your fishmonger will do it for you!
This is a traditional Cantonese dish for Chinese New Year - the lobster as it symbolises wealth, both in terms of its cost but also the beautiful red colour after cooking, and the noodles which represent longevity.
Ingredients (for 4)
2 live, uncooked lobsters weighing 800g- 1kg each
400g Yee Mein Noodles (shop bought)
3 spring onions (cut into 2cm length)
Finely diced fresh peeled ginger
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
good grind of fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
Having received your lobsters from your fishmonger, leave them wrapped in damp paper in the bottom of your fridge until ready for cooking. Some may prefer to place the lobsters in the freezer for an hour to reduce their conscious state, however the method described kills the lobster instantly so it’s probably not necessary.
Place the lobster on a sturdy chopping board. Take a good sharp heavy chopping knife and place the point on the central line about 2cm behind the eyes. Hold the lobster steady and quickly bring the knife down through the head of the lobster, completely dissecting the head in two lengthways. Immediately turn the lobster round and draw the knife through the shell along the length of the tail, resulting in two halves of lobster. Clean out the green stomach/intestinal tract thoroughly, remove the claws and chop the tail into pieces. Now lightly crack the lobster claws. Save any of the juices to add to the sauce when cooking. Blot the lobster dry with paper towels and place in bowl.
Heat up a large pot of boiling water and prepare the noodles as per instructions. I always drain in cold water and very quickly re-heat as the sauce is completed.
Finely chop the fresh ginger – I’m never sure how to advise on how much, it’s down to personal taste but for this dish a good 3 or 4cm long piece of ginger is required. Now mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
Take a large wok and heat over the highest flame/heat you have available. A really hot wok is essential as we are looking for the characteristic high heat flavour to come through. Lower heat will create a steamed lobster which is not what is required here.
When the wok is hot add the cooking oil (not olive oil as the smoke point is too low). Immediately add the finely chopped ginger and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the lobster pieces and with a continuous motion stir fry until the characteristic red colour appears. Immediately add the combined sauce ingredients and continue to stir and coat the sauce nicely.Cook in this manner for no more than 2 minutes.
Whilst the lobster and the sauce are in their final cooking stage, quickly re-heat the noodles in a large pan with a little boiling water, stirring continuously – the idea is to re-heat not continue the cooking process!
Add the spring onions to the lobster and sauce in the wok.
Drain the noodles and mix the noodles and lobster with sauce immediately before serving on a large single platter.
This is a really sensational dish, rich yet fresh and completely morish!