Having first chilled them as described, chop each lobster quickly and cleanly down the centre, putting the point of a heavy knife or cleaver through the cross-mark on the carapace, right down to the chopping board. Open out, and remove the stomach sac in the ‘head’ and the intestine, which runs the length of the tail. Place the lobster halves on a plate, and set on a rack in a steamer. Put some aromatics in the water. I like to use a slice of fresh ginger, a long sliver of orange peel or a piece of dried orange peel, and a split stalk of lemon grass or a sprig of lime leaves.
To flavour the lobster, sparingly spread on a mixture of grated ginger, chopped spring onions and garlic, or garlic chives and some crushed fermented black beans, or a splash of soy sauce. All of these ingredients are available from oriental supermarkets. Cover and steam the lobster for 8 to 10 minutes, once the water comes to the boil. Transfer the lobster halves to dinner plates, and serve with a dipping sauce of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and, if you like, a little chopped chilli and grated ginger.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.