Braised efu Noodles with Lobster

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Serves

    4–6

Appears in

The Australian crayfish is one of the best-eating seafood creatures in the world, especially those out of Tasmania and South Australia, where the water is colder. The flavour and texture is pure luxury. This is a classic Chinese dish in a lot of ways – the efu noodles have a spongy, almost chewy texture that’s great for soaking up the sauce with all those flavours. This is an extravagant dish for impressing people, which is why it’s usually a fixture on any banquet table during Chinese New Year celebrations, or when the in-laws come to visit.

Ingredients

  • 1 live lobster, about 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz)
  • salt and caster (superfine) sugar, for seasoning
  • 2 cm (¾ inch) piece of ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 100 g ( oz) dried efu noodles
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) supreme stock (Essentials)
  • tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch white garlic chives, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths
  • tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried shrimp roe

Method

To kill the lobster, put it in the freezer for about 1 hour to send it to sleep. Remove the lobster from the freezer and quickly put it upside down on a chopping board. Using a large sharp knife, pierce the shell between the lobster’s legs, forcing the knife down to the board. This will leave a large incision for you to then cut the whole lobster in half lengthways. Leave the head on (discard the legs) and cut each half into 2 pieces. Remove and discard the digestive tract, lungs and stomach sac from the tail and cut it into 3 cm ( inch) pieces, through the shell.

Arrange the pieces on a large plate, making sure they’re not on top of each other. Season the lobster with a little salt and sugar and top with the ginger. Place the plate in a large bamboo steamer over a saucepan of simmering water to steam for about 4–5 minutes, or until the lobster is just cooked through. Set aside in a warm place.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the noodles for 30 seconds until tender. Drain, refresh with cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil. Add the garlic and fry for about 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Stir in the supreme stock, oyster sauce and 1 teaspoon each of salt and sugar. Add the noodles and shiitake mushrooms. Braise for about 1 minute, before adding the lobster and garlic chives. Turn off the heat and stir in the Shaoxing wine and sesame oil. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle the shrimp roe on top. Serve immediately.

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