Lobster Broth



Lobster is a popular seafood in Chinese cuisine.  Traditionally, it can be fried with ginger and scallions, or for a modern take, Chinese restaurants are increasingly offering lobster cooked in a creamy cheese sauce atop a bed of tender egg noodles. As with most proteins, when you’re finished eating the actual dish, don’t toss the left-over bones or shells! Save them because they can be used to create a delicious soup instead.  Lobster shells are the perfect base for a seafood broth, particularly the head which contains a lot of the rich creamy roe and flavours.

Soup Name: Lobster Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:  龍蝦湯 (lóngxiā tāng)

For this particular soup, we quickly devoured the meat of three small, boiled lobsters (we dipped the meat in salted butter of course) and carefully saved the shells, including the back, legs, claws and especially the whole heads. When making lobster broth, leaving the meat in the shells seems wasteful as I don’t feel the meat contributes that much flavour to the richness of the broth, so feel free to enjoy the meat separately first.

In the below recipe, stir-frying the ingredients first is optional — however I find it does help to bring out the flavours, particularly if the shells are slightly caramelized around the outside.  Also, feel free to add carrots and other root vegetables to create a hearty, healthy meal.

As a tip, when making any seafood soup (or seafood dish), one of the key ingredients when cooking in a Chinese-style is to use fresh ginger.  Not only does ginger add to the complex flavours of the seafood, it is also key because it cuts through any potential fishy tastes and smells.

The below recipe can be used stand-alone (as a soup), as the soup base for noodles, or it can also be poured on top of cooked rice to make a sort of lazy Chiu Chow-style congee.  Enjoy!

Lobster Broth
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: LadyTong
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 bowls
  • 2 L water
  • 3 lobster shells (with head)
  • 5 slices of ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 stalk, spring onion
  • Salt to taste
  1. Start boiling the water in a large soup pot
  2. Stir-fry the onion, garlic and ginger in 1 tbsp of cooking oil for 3 minutes until onions are soft (stir-frying is optional, but will help to enhance the flavours)
  3. Add the lobster shells and spring onion and stir-fry for another 5 minutes (optional)
  4. Put everything into the soup water (on high heat)
  5. When the water is boiling, turn down the heat to medium and continue to boil for 1 hour.
  6. Once in a while, use the [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/oil-scooper/”]oil scooper[/url] to scoop out extra oil and foam that may rise to the surface
  7. Add salt to taste (I use about 1 tsp)
  8. Serve and enjoy




Ingredient Name:  Lobster

Traditional Chinese Name: 龍 蝦 (lóngxiā)

What is this?

  • A type of shellfish
  • A large, 10-legged marine crustacean with a cylindrical body closely related to shrimp and crabs
  • For eating, lobsters are traditionally steamed or boiled and the meat extracted from inside the shell
  • Once the meat has been eaten, the remaining lobster shell and the head can make a great base for soup

How do I prepare it?

  • The easiest method to cook lobster is to boil it in salted water for approximately 15 minutes (times may vary depending on the size of the lobster)
  • Using a nutcracker, remove the meat and enjoy separately (Tip: it tastes great dipped in butter)
  • Save the shell and head for your soup

Where can I buy this?

  • Most international grocery stores will sell lobster
  • Typically, spring through autumn is lobster season
  • It is best to buy live lobster, with their tails flapped or curled up

What is the cost?

  • Lobster prices vary depending on the season.  The lobster featured above cost $80 HKD each.

Any benefits?

  • Bones (any animal) are an excellent source of nutrients and minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and silicon
  • The broth created from bones are easy to digest, are high in amino acids, collagen and gelatin
  • Bones broth is actually known to help fight colds and viruses because of these amino acids that help boost immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma and arthritis
  • Nothing beats real stock with real bones – store bought stock (which are primarily enhanced with flavour enhancers) has nothing over real stock

Any precautions?

  • Lobsters are low in fat content and relatively low in cholesterol
  • They are a good source of omega 3-fatty acids and phosphorus, which aids in the formation of teeth and bones
  • Lobsters are also a good source of selenium, B12, Vitamin E and Niacin