How to Cook Lobster Yee Mein

I still remember that time we ordered lobster yee mein (fresh lobster with fried wheat noodles and garlic, ginger and shallots) during lunch in Sydney’s Chinatown; it bumped our yum cha bill to just shy of $1000. We’re talking one lobster shared among the 4 of us, in case there’s any confusion. Thankfully, it was my younger sister, here on a flying visit from her overseas expat job, who paid for the meal.

For the rest of us non-Harvard-educated, non-expat-salaried types, however, here’s a way to indulge in this Cantonese classic without having to sell your kidney. My usual hack for this dish is to use a cheaper crustacean like blue swimmer or spanner crabs; right after Christmas however, I wandered into my local Woolies and saw a pile of cooked lobsters at half price – obviously leftovers from the Christmas trade. I picked up 2 of them (total $40), ate some as-is, and used the rest for lobster yee mein.

Couple of points to note –

  • despite the lobsters being pre-cooked, the heads were full of “gao” – you know, that creamy orangey-yellow stuff – which infused the noodles with lots of flavour
  • since they were already cooked, I didn’t need to drench the pieces with flour and flash fry” beforehand, but if your last name is Packer/Rhinehart/Lowy and you’re using live lobster, follow the first part of this recipe – https://jackiem.com.au/2018/08/14/how-to-cook-crab-with-yee-meen-noodles/

Lobster Yee Mein (Budget Version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 medium-sized cooked lobsters, cut into pieces
  • 2 cakes yee meen noodles, prepared per packet instructions
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3-4 inches ginger, cut into chunks and crushed
  • 3-4 green shallots, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 TBSP oyster sauce
  • 1 ½ TBSP chicken powder
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine (optional)
  • 2L water or stock
  • 1 TBSP tapioca flour + 1 TBSP water (optional)
  • 2-3 TBSP oil

METHOD:

  1. Heat oil in frying pan. Add ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes or until aromatic and slightly browned.
  2. Add lobster pieces followed by Shaoxing wine.
  3. Add all other seasoning ingredients plus water or stock.
  4. Bring to a simmer, then add noodles.
  5. Once noodles are soft, mix tapioca flour with a Tbsp of cold water, then stir in to thicken.
  6. Adjust seasoning, remove from heat and serve.

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