Lobster Tails in Spicy Broth

Lobster Tails in Spicy Broth Recipe

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a dinner guest the other evening. He lived in Japan for 20 years  and now he's back to the US. We've met several times in the past and I remembered his love for seafood, so I promised him a special feast the next time he came to visit.

I wanted to prepare a special dish with luxurious flavors. so I served out-of-this-world lobster tails in spicy broth.

Lobster tails were pan-fried first, then sautéed in Chinese chives, Thai basil leaves and garlic and then dipped in a spicy lobster broth. 


Yields: 4 servings

6 whole fresh lobsters, cleaned and separated
2 cups vegetable oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
1 (4-inch) piece leek, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 (6-inch) piece daikon, peeled and cubed
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
1 (4-inch) piece roasted jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lime
¼ cup Thai basil leaves
2 tablespoons Chinese chives
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce


Gather the lobster tails (prepped, see tips) in one large mixing bowl and reserve the lobster brains (from inside the main head shells) separately in another small bowl. Pat dry. Add black pepper and grated ginger. Toss well and set aside for 15 minutes.

In a wok, heat the oil. Add the shallots and cook for about 3-4 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much shallot-flavored oil in the wok as possible.

Dredge the lobster with tapioca starch using a strainer and immediately fry the lobster pieces in 4 batches, adding a teaspoon of salt to the wok. Jiggle the pan to make sure the lobster doesn't stick to the bottom and is totally coated with oil and slightly crispy. Remove and discard the oil, leaving about 3 tablespoons left in the wok. Add the daikon, chives and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the reserved lobster brain. Cook for 1 minute, then add the soy sauce and chopped chiles, Thai basil leaves and a bit of salt. Return the lobster tails to the wok. Stir fry until evenly distributed.

Add 1 cup of warm water and dry white wine. Cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often. The lobster meat should be white and opaque and the liquid should be evaporated as well. Do not over-cook the lobster or the meat will be dry! Uncover and add the reserved shallots. Toss the lobster and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning with soy sauce and pepper and a drizzle of lime juice.

Transfer to a large serving platter.

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


It's important to open the lobster tails slightly before cooking so the flavor from the herbs penetrates into the flesh. I use kitchen shears to open the inner shell.

For this dish, it's important to always keep the temperature of the stove at the highest setting. The higher the temperature, the better. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 18, 2014.


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