Wok Lobster with Lehua Honey and Black Bean Sauce
Although it looks elegant, this is a simple and quick dish to prepare. It is served family-style on a platter. The thick and fragrant lehua honey featured in this dish is made from honey made by bees collecting nectar from the lehua, a plant that grows on the side of Maui’s volcano. As a substitute, use your own favorite, most fragrant local honey. The sauce, incidentally, is wonderful on crab and shrimp as well.
- Lehua Honey and Black Bean Sauce
- Cornstarch - 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Water - 1/2 cup water
- Chinese Fermented Black Beans - 1 cup, rinsed and chopped
- Sesame Oil - 1 teaspoon
- Coconut oil - 1 teaspoon
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Fresh Ginger - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Lemongrass - 1/2 teaspoon, minced
- Green Onions - 1 teaspoon, minced (white portion only)
- Fresh Cilantro - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Grated Orange Zest - 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- Chili Paste - 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- Soy Sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Oyster Sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Lehua Honey or other fragrant honey - 1 teaspoon
- Chicken or Fish stock, or clam juice - 1-1/2 cups
- Maine lobsters - two, 2-pound (alt. 4 rock lobster tails)
- Sesame Oil - 1 teaspoon
- Peanut Oil - 1 teaspoon
- Fresh Chinese egg noodles - one, 12-ounce package
- Sesame Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Peanut Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Green Onions - 1 teaspoon, julienned
- Cilantro Stems - 4 fresh
- Orange Zest Strips - 6
To make the sauce: In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and set aside. Coarsely chop half of the black beans. In a large wok over medium heat, heat the oil to rippling and stir-fry the chopped and whole beans, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, green onion, and cilantro until the vegetables are wilted. Add the zest and chili paste and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, and stock or clam juice. Bring to a boil and pour in the cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Kill the lobsters by making an incision in the back of the shell where the chest and tail meet. Immediately add the lobsters to the boiling water for 2 minutes. Using tongs, remove the lobsters and drain on paper towels. Place on a cutting board and cut the tail from the body where they join. Cut the tail into 3/4-inch slices, keeping the meat inside the shell. Pull the claws away from the body and pull the knuckles away from the claws, keeping the claws intact. Remove the legs. Pull the meat from the knuckles and crack the claws, removing the lower part of the shell to expose the meat. If using lobster tails, cut into medallions, keeping the meat inside the shell.
In a clean wok over high heat, heat sesame and peanut oils until rippling. Add the lobster and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add to the wok with the black bean sauce, cover, return to medium heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
To make the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Cook for 7 minutes, then drain well and pat dry with a paper towel. In a large wok over high heat, combine 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon peanut oil and heat to rippling. Put the noodles in the oil, shaping them into a cake with the back of a spoon. When the cake has turned a golden color on one side, about 2 minutes, turn it with a large spoon or spatula and reshape into a cake. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon peanut oil around the edges of the cake and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 2 minutes.
To serve: Place the noodle cake in the center of a large platter. Split the body of the lobster in half lengthwise. Arrange all the lobster pieces or tail medallions over and around the noodles. Pour the black bean sauce over and around the lobster. Garnish with green onions, cilantro sprigs, and orange zest.