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Chili Lobster
© John Kernick

Chili Lobster

  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS: 10
  • HEALTHY

When Chris Yeo was growing up in Singapore, he went to restaurants to eat chili crab, the classic Singaporean dish of whole crabs in a potent red chili–garlic sauce. "Nobody made chili crab at home—it was so much work to prepare," he says. Here, he's modified the traditional recipe by adding a little ketchup to the sauce (a not-uncommon ingredient in southeast Asian cooking) and substituting lobster for the crab. To cut the recipe's prep time by 20 minutes, buy 1 1/2 pounds of cooked and shelled lobster meat instead of boiling the lobster yourself.

  1. 10 heads of baby bok choy
  2. Five 1 1/2-pound live lobsters
  3. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  4. 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  5. 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  6. 3/4 cup ketchup
  7. 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (see Note)
  8. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  9. Salt
  10. 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch-long strips
  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the baby bok choy until it's bright green, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bok choy to a large rimmed baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Cover the baking sheet with foil.
  2. Bring the pot of water back to a boil. Add the lobsters and cook until they're bright red all over, about 7 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to another large rimmed baking sheet and let cool slightly. Twist the tails off of the lobster bodies; crack the claws and knuckles and remove the meat. Using scissors, cut along the underside of the tail shells and remove the meat. Remove and discard the dark intestinal veins; cut the tails into 2-inch pieces. Arrange the lobster meat on the baking sheet, cover with a moistened kitchen towel and then cover tightly with foil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook over moderately low heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, ketchup and sambal oelek and simmer over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Add the egg and cook, stirring frequently, until fully incorporated and the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt, then transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Bake the covered lobster and baby bok choy for about 7 minutes, or until heated through. Mound the lobster meat on a platter, arrange the bok choy alongside it and garnish with the red pepper strips. Serve at once with the chili sauce.
Make Ahead The boiled lobster and bok choy can be refrigerated overnight. Notes Sambal oelek, a spicy Indonesian chile sauce, is available at Asian markets and at specialty-food stores.

Suggested Pairing

This recipe will pair well with a lightly sweet white (to cut the heat) that also has a fair amount of body (to match the lobster's richness). The answer is Vouvray, a Loire white made from the Chenin Blanc grape.

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