Although you’ve probably seen this dish on the menu at your local Chinese restaurant, this is about as authentic to actual Chinese cuisine as Mongolian Beef or General Tso’s Chicken (what’s generally referred to in China as “Overseas Chinese food”, or “American Chinese”). Even more confusingly, the sauce doesn’t actually contain any lobster at all. However, it may have come to be named “lobster sauce” due to the fact that it derives from a similar family of “white sauces” used in Cantonese cuisine that were traditionally poured over stir-fried lobster. Either that, or some marketing whiz figured out that anything with the word “lobster” in it sounds yummier- and more expensive. No matter where the dish originated or how it got its name, it’s still tasty, and it’s actually pretty easy (and relatively inexpensive) to make at home.
- 12 ounces raw large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- Salt and sugar to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
- one 5 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 1 cup)
- large handful of snow peas, trimmed (about 1 cup)
- 3 dashes of white pepper
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
Lightly season the shrimp with salt and sugar to taste.
In a wok, heat up the oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the ginger and garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the shrimp into the wok and stir-fry until half-cooked or surface turns opaque. Pour in the chicken broth and Chinese cooking wine. Bring to a boil.
Add the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the white pepper and soy sauce.
Prepare the cornstarch mixture by adding the cornstarch and water, mix well. When the chicken broth is boiling, gently pour in the cornstarch mixture while stirring.
Bring back to a boil, swirl the beaten egg and immediately stir 3 times with a pair of chopsticks. When the egg white begins to form into silken threads, quickly turn off the heat.
Dish out to serving plate. Serve with warm rice.
Makes 4 servings.
last updated August 17, 2023