Have you ordered Shrimp in Lobster Sauce in a Chinese restaurant only to discover when the dish arrives, these is NO lobster in the sauce?
Where is the Lobster?
There really is no lobster in Shrimp in Lobster Sauce. According to one version of the story, the name for this dish came about when a regular patron of a particular Chinese restaurant who always ordered his favorite dish, Lobster Cantonese, arrived at the restaurant short on cash and asked the manager if the chef could prepare the dish using shrimp instead of lobster. The manager replied “no problem” and Shrimp in Lobster Sauce (albeit without lobster) was born.
This dish is at its best made and served at once, which could create logistical problems when entertaining, but since the actual cooking time is only about 10 minutes, it is easy to impress your guests with this delectable dish.
The secret to pulling this off with ease is to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to fire up your wok or frying pan.
SHRIMP IN BLACK BEAN SAUCE aka Shrimp in Lobster Sauce
From “My Students’ Favorite Chinese Recipes updated edition” by Norma Chang
1 pound raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, washed, pat dry with paper towels and toss well with ¾ teaspoon kosher salt. Refrigerate while preparing the other ingredients.
4 ounces lean ground pork
1 tablespoon Chinese fermented (salted) black beans, rinsed and drained (see NOTE 1)
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sugar
Dash of white pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon ginger wine
2 – 3 slices ginger from ginger wine
1 teaspoon soy sauce (see NOTE 2)
1 scallion, thinly sliced, set aside 1 tablespoon for garnish
3 – 4 tablespoons oil
¾ cup chicken broth
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water
1. Heat wok or frying pan. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons oil. Swirl to coat cooking surface. Add ginger slices, let steep until lightly browned and oil reaches smoking point. Add shrimp, stir-fry over high heat until shrimp changes color. Remove to a clean platter. Discard ginger slices.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok, if needed. Add fermented black beans and garlic, stir-fry over medium-heat until fragrant, 1- 2 minutes. Add pork, stir-fry until pork changes color. Sir in sugar, white pepper, ginger wine, soy sauce and scallion. Mix thoroughly. Add shrimp and mix well. Add broth. Cover, bring to a boil. Simmer until shrimp is cooked.
3. Thicken with cornstarch mixture. Slowly stir-in beaten eggs. Remove to a serving platter as soon as eggs are cooked. Garnish with reserved scallion and serve at once.
NOTE 1: Fermented black beans also known as salted black beans or preserved beans are made from soy beans. They are dry to the touch and have a soft texture. Quite salty and taste like dried cured olives. Available at Asian market, specialty food markets and the international section of some supermarkets.
Substitute: 1 – 2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce for the fermented black bean and garlic.
NOTE 2: Use gluten free soy sauce for a GF version.
Copyright © by Norma Chang
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