Lobster in Preserved Black Bean Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Far Flung Floyd

Far Flung Floyd

By Keith Floyd

Published 1994

  • About

On a stormy day in Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong, in a rocking sampan that made us all feel sick and meant that Paul could hardly hold the camera straight, I was obliged to prepare a meal for a local hero – an inventor of sex games, foodwriter, philosopher, martial arts expert, television horse-racing tipster, journalist and actor – who goes by the name of Zachary Ulysses Greenstreet Octavius Kan. With his shaven head, he sat benignly radiating calm in the midst of the confusion that surrounded the cooking of this dish.

Ideally, you should use a live lobster for this recipe, but as these can be difficult to obtain, here is a version using cooked lobster. If you can find a live lobster, you will need to kill it first by plunging it into boiling water. It will squeak. Cook until it turns red – about 5-10 minutes.Drain and proceed as below.


  • 1 tablespoon ginger wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cooked lobster about 900 g (2lb), washed and cut into small pieces, shell left on
  • 1 litre ( pints) groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced root ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons preserved black bean paste
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into 1 cm (½ inch) squares
  • 3 red chilli peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 125 ml (4fl oz) fish or vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 spring onions, sliced


Mix together the ginger wine or sherry, cornflour and a large pinch of pepper. Coat the lobster pieces with this mixture. Heat the oil and deep-fry the lobster pieces for 1-2 minutes. Lift out and drain. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a wok or frying pan and sauté the ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes. Stir in the black bean paste, green peppers and chillies, mixing well.

Return the lobster pieces to the pan with the wine or sherry, stock and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 2-5 minutes. Finally, toss in the spring onions before serving.