Chinese Lobster in Shell with Ginger & Garlic
with Prudence Sloane
Lobster doesn't have to be an expensive dish. There are two ways to have lobster for $5 per person. One is to get a jumbo lobster *. Larger lobsters are more economical. Even the body is full of meat. The other way is to get lobster when on sale and cut up and use in a stir-fry. This dish is one of my husband's favorites and can feed 4 people with a side order of rice and a vegetable.
2 live lobsters (1 1/4 lb to 1 1/2 lb each)
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 LB ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry, dry vermouth or dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup water
½ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 scallions, sliced thin or chopped well
For squeamish cooks boil your lobsters to almost done (1 ¼ lb for 10 min instead of 12 min and 1 ½ pound for 12 min instead of 15 min). Let cool to the touch and cut into 1 ½" pieces keeping the lobster in the shell and crack the claws. Remove the gills. (See video on Better Connecticut - http://www.wfsb.com/category/220627/better-cuisine). Otherwise, cut up the live lobsters into 1 1/2" pieces. Save the juices.
Over very high heat in a wok or large sauté pan, heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add the pork and salt and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir-fry for 1 minute while breaking up the clumps or until the pork is no longer pink. Add the soy sauce and sherry and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil. Add the lobster claws and knuckles and simmer for 1 minute. Then add the body, tail and peas. Simmer for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute or until hot. Mix together the cornstarch, and water. Stir right before adding to the boiling liquid. Toss the lobster with the thickened sauce. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve with rice.
*City Fish in Wethersfield (www.cfishct.com <http://www.cfishct.com>) has jumbo lobsters of 6 pounds and over for only $6.99 a pound. A six pound lobster will feed 8 people boiled with butter, New England style, and up to 12 with this recipe.