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Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

Friday, 10 June 2011

SoFeminine.co.uk is running a food competition with selected blogs as part of a campaign to find the best dish out there. The wild boar urged me to make one of his favourite dishes on earth - Sang har meen (fresh water prawn noodles). It's a noodle dish with big huge fresh water prawns resting on a bed of deep fried noodles drowned in lots of starchy and eggy prawn based gravy. The lobster noodles in London comes close, but the noodle used in lobster noodles is thicker and is cooked till softened instead of deep-fried. I combined the best of both dishes by using lobster and served it on a bed of deep-fried noodles.

Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

I was so excited after deciding on the dish and immediately ordered two live lobsters of about 700 g each from my local fishmonger.

Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

It was my first time dealing with live lobsters and it wasn't as intimidating that I imagined. I placed the lobsters in the freezer for about 20 mins to numb them and slow down their movements, then stab them with a knife just below the claws and cut through the heads. This is apparently the most humane way to kill a lobster. Instant death is better than slow painful torture! Here's a video showing you how to kill a lobster.



I used only one of the lobsters for this noodle dish and kept the other. The hardest part was chopping the lobster into small pieces and cracking the claws as the shell is really hard. The jaw cracker that I have was too small, so I used the back of a knife instead - not a good idea as bits of the shell flew in all directions as I hit the claw. A hammer might be a better option.

Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

There are two parts to this recipe: a recipe for a simple home-made Chinese soup stock and a recipe for lobster noodles. Once you have the lobster and the home-made soup stock sorted, the dish is pretty easy to put together. The noodle I used was more suitable for braising as it was quite thick and didn't soften as much as I expected, so remember to use thinner noodles if you intend to deep-fry the noodles. You can omit the deep-frying step, I did it because the wild boar likes the crispy edges. So, this is my take on lobster noodles. Overall, the dish turned out really good and we really enjoyed the dish!

Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Yield: serves 2


Ingredients:
  • 2 portions (about 200 g) yee mein/ e-fu noodles/ dried egg noodles [try to use a thinner version of what I've used if you intend to deep-fry it so it'll soften when gravy is poured on top.]
  • 1 (about 700 g) lobster - clean and chopped into pieces, make a few cracks on the claws
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 20 g ginger - sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks spring onion - white and green parts separated
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 3 cups home-made Chinese soup stock (recipe below)
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce (more or less to taste)
  • Salts
  • A few dashes white pepper powder
  • Cornstarch slurry (cornstarch + water)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil

Directions:
  • Cook noodles until softened and cooked through. Drain then deep fry until crispy on both sides (you will notice large bubbles in the oil as soon as you drop the noodles into the oil. When the noodles has lost most/all of its water, you will see small bubbles in the oil.). Place on a serving plate. [feel free to omit the deep-frying step.]
  • Heat up about 2 tbs of oil in a large wok. Add ginger, garlic and white part of spring onion, fry until fragrant.
  • Add lobster, stir-fry until the shells start to change colour.
  • Pour in Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry until almost dry.
  • Pour in all the stock. Cover and bring to boil.
  • As soon as it starts to boil, add oyster sauce and white pepper to taste.
  • Thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry.
  • Crack an egg into the sauce and leave to cook. As soon as the white starts to set, stir the sauce around to mix. Season to taste again with salt and pepper.
  • Lastly, remove from heat, mix in a bit of sesame oil and green part of spring onions. Pour lobster and gravy on top of cooked noodles.

home-made chinese soup stock

Simple Home-made Chinese Soup Stock

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 1/2 hrs
Yield: 1 1/2 L stock


Ingredients:
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 large onion - sliced
  • 1 large red onion - sliced
  • 5 shallots - sliced
  • 2 medium carrots - chopped into pieces
  • 50 g ginger - sliced
  • 1 leek - sliced
  • 1 bulb garlic - leave un-peeled and make a few slits with a knife
  • 5 stalks spring onion
  • 1 tbs white peppercorn
  • 60 g dried scallops
  • 60 g Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 2 L water

Directions:
  • Pre-heat oven to 220°C.
  • Toss together onions, red onion, shallots, carrots, ginger, leek, garlic and oil in a large flameproof roasting pan. Roast in the middle of oven, turning occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Transfer all roasted as well as the other ingredients into a stockpot or a pressure cooker pot.
  • Cook under pressure for 45 mins OR simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Pour through a large fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing on and discarding solids except for the mushrooms and dried scallops, keep and use it in another recipe. Skim off fats if any.
Lobster Yee Mein (Lobster Noodles)

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