First Post of 2017
Consider this my first post of 2017. Actually, t’s more like my first post in many months. I almost felt like a stranger blogging on my own blog after being MIA for some time. The priorities of caring for my elderly parents while juggling mayhems in Mommyville leaves minimal room for uninterrupted time to write about a few of my favorite things. I will do my best to “punch in” more time this year in between life’s madness and religiously practicing my beloved Wong Shun Leung’s Ving Tsun Gung Fu or Wing Chun Kung Fu – but that’s definitely another talk show, scheduled for another time.
Lobster Tails Wok-Fried With Ginger and Scallions: A Goof-Proof, Beautiful, and Luxuriously Delicious Dish That Reminds Me of Him
For now, I’m stealing a couple of hours from the ongoing chaos to write about this beautifully delicious and luxurious dish – Wok-Fried Lobster Tails in Ginger and Scallions. I’ve made this eye-catching dish multiple times as it reminds me of my docile 82-year old papa. It’s his favorite seafood dish in the entire planet. When he sees the vibrant crimson colored lobster morsels glistened with that aromatic gingery sauce and topped with scallions, his eyes brightens. He gives me one of those subtle grins of approval. For this Vietnamese daughter, that nod of approval weighs more than gold as he gives them so sparingly.
When lobster goes on sale, like recently ($5 for 5 oz. tail), I can’t resist grabbing a few frozen tails, tuck them in the freezer so I can cook them when I’m good and ready. Last night I was ready. From this home cook’s perspective, although cooking an entire lobster, claws, heads, and all yields an attractive presentation, I honestly prefer the lobster tails for easy prepping, less time consuming and clean up. This means more time to enjoy my savory, worthy creation plus I get to devour more meat, less shells.
With this goof-proof lobster wok-fried with ginger and scallions dish, I’ve paired it with choy sum stir-fried with smashed garlic and my hubby’s favorite, Korean spicy rice cakes for hearty sides. A generous scoop of steamed rice is always a given, isn’t it?
Here’s my recipe (and cooking madness). Enjoy!
4 lobster tails, each approximately 5 oz.
3 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2-3 fresh thai chili, roughly chopped (optional)
3-4 stalks green onions/scallions, cut into 2” spears, green and white part separated
¼ cup chicken stock or warm water
canola oil for stir-frying
½ tsp granulated sugar
½ tsbp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp fish sauce, just a splash (Magic Chef, 3 Crab, or Squid brand works)
1 tsp Shao Hsing rice wine
1) Lobster Prep and Marinade:
With sharp kitchen sheers or a cleaver, split each lobster tail into halves, lengthwise. Chop each half portion crosswise to yield approximately 4-6 bite-size pieces per tail. Place cut pieces into a wide prep surface (rectanglebaking pan or large shallow bowl). Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the first 2 tsp of cornstarch, light soy, ground black pepper. Mix well to form a slurry. Pour the slurry onto the lobster. Mix well to coat each piece. Spread lobster pieces out, with meat side facing upward. Lightly sprinkle the remaining tsp of cornstarch over the surface of each lobster piece. Use additional cornstarch if necessary. Then set aside. Note: This extra step creates a crusty, caramelized exterior to the lobster and helps minimize splattering of oil during the stir-fry. Don’t skip it!
2) Prepare Seasoning Sauce:
In a small bowl, add light soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
3) Preheat a 14” wok or large skillet on med-high heat until a hint of smoke appears on the interior of the wok. Swirl in 2 tbsp of canola oil to evenly coat the wok’s bottom. When oil shimmers and becomes smoky, add ginger slices, scallions (white part only), garlic, and chopped chilies (if using). Stir-fry the aromatics for approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute, avoid burning them.
4) Add lobster pieces. With a wooden/metal spatula, quickly toss lobster with the aromatics for another minute. Add the seasoning sauce, evenly stir-fry the ingredients, to ensure lobster pieces are coated well. Drizzle chicken stock or water along the edge of the wok, NOT in the middle, as this will reduce the heat from the wok’s center. Add the scallions (green part). Cook for another 1 or 2 minutes when sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Give the ingredients another toss. Taste for seasoning. Perhaps add another splash of soy or fish sauce, or a sprinkle of sugar, or add more chile peppers, etc.
5) Serve hot with steam rice.
Serves 2-3 as main course or 4-5 as part of multi-course