Steamed Lobster with Garlic, Ginger and Black Beans

The Chinese always seem to have a knack when cooking fresh lobster, they get the flavours and texture just right. Truth be told it is all about simplicity, freshness and a good understanding of their ingredients. Too often the flavour of lobster is destroyed by rich overpowering sauces and overcooking. The recipe below is just one example of the many ways the Chinese cook their lobsters, once you have tried it you will understand just how tasty and simple cooking lobster can be. If you are squeamish you can always try this recipe using raw lobster tails rather than buying a live lobster (cooked lobster meat definitely want do).

4 Portions (as part of a Chinese meal)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes


  • 1 large or 2 small live lobsters
  • 2 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, shredded
  • 2 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp salted black beans, rinsed in cold water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp shaohsing wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

To Serve

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely shredded


  1. Lobster: Place the lobster in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, to kill it.
  2. Remove the lobster from the water. Remove its head and cut it in half, devein it and remove any roe. Cut the lobster into even serving pieces, breaking the claws with the back of a knife so that they cook evenly and are easy to eat.
  3. Lay the lobster on a large plate and place it on a trivet in a wok with boiling water. Scatter over the garlic, ginger, spring onions and black beans, and sprinkle over the soy sauce, wine and sesame oil. Cover the wok and leave the lobster to steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the lobster from the wok.
  5. Discard the water in the wok and dry it. Heat the oil in the wok over a high heat. When hot pour over the lobster. Scatter the spring onions over the top and serve with rice and vegetables.