Steamed Lobster with White Soy, Ginger and Shallots


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Mr Hong

By Dan Hong

Published 2014

  • About

My favourite way to prepare any seafood is to steam it with ginger and shallots. It’s one of the most iconic flavour profiles to come out of Cantonese cuisine. And for good reason: it’s light, balanced and lets the seafood show its true character. I decided to use white soy because it’s a lot sweeter, less salty and looks prettier on the plate. White soy is traditionally Japanese, so like a lot of dishes, this one’s not trying to be traditional. This dressing can be used for whole fish, prawns and scallops or any seafood you want to serve steamed. It’s also great with white-cut chicken, too.


  • 1 live rock lobster, about 1.4 kg (3 lb 2 oz)
  • 3 cm ( inch) piece ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) white soy dressing (Essentials)
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) ginger oil (Essentials)
  • 1 big handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish


To kill the lobster, put it in the freezer for about 1 hour to send it to sleep. Remove it from the freezer and work quickly. Grab yourself a chopping board and put the lobster upside down on it. Pierce the shell between the legs with a sharp knife, forcing the knife down to the board. This will leave a large incision for you to cut the whole lobster in half lengthways. Remove and discard the digestive tract, lungs and stomach sac then cut each side in half, through the shell.

Put the lobster pieces on a large plate inside a large bamboo steamer, making sure they are not on top of each other. Top the lobster with the ginger, cover with a tight-fitting lid and place the steamer over a saucepan of boiling water to steam for 4–5 minutes or until it is cooked. Remove the plate from the steamer and scatter most of the spring onions over the lobster. If you transfer the lobster to another plate, be sure not to lose the juice from the lobster, as it forms part of the sauce. Cover and keep warm.

To Serve

In a small saucepan, bring the white soy dressing to a simmer and pour it over the lobster. Heat another small saucepan over a high heat until it reaches smoking point, then add the ginger oil and swirl it around for a few seconds. Using a clean, dry spoon, carefully pour 2–3 teaspoons of the boiling oil over each portion of lobster. The oil will spit a little, so be very careful! Garnish with coriander leaves and the rest of the spring onions and serve at once.