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!
- 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
- Start boiling the water in a large soup pot
- 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)
- Add the lobster shells and spring onion and stir-fry for another 5 minutes (optional)
- Put everything into the soup water (on high heat)
- When the water is boiling, turn down the heat to medium and continue to boil for 1 hour.
- 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
- Add salt to taste (I use about 1 tsp)
- Serve and enjoy