There is something about seeing fresh garlic, ginger and scallion (or green onion) in the kitchen that brings back waves of nostalgia for me. It’s like I am 5 years old again sitting in the family’s kitchen watching an aunt or my grandmother prepare dinner.
These three basic ingredients form the foundation of many a Cantonese dish providing a platform to build more complex flavors that conjure up images of my childhood. I grew up in tropical Fiji. The best days were the lazy days I would have spent running around by the sea or in the yard with my cousins and coming in at dinner time to a busy kitchen filled with the smells and sounds of my family cooking up a storm.
Sometimes the whole extended family would gather for a feast. It was usually a festival or someone’s birthday. On these days, one can always expect to see a fancy dish of lobster or mud crab sautéed in garlic and green onions taking the special place in the middle of the dining table.
I have managed to recreate this in a Paleo-friendly fashion and it turned out pretty good. I have yet to find any mud crabs here in San Antonio but a couple of lobster tails from the local grocery store did the trick just fine tonight.
Cut your lobster tails lengthwise and into large bite-sized sections. Dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt very sparingly and then coat with tapioca flour. We don’t want a dry coating, just enough to see a thick layer of white.
Next, we want to add enough olive oil to a pan in high heat so that the lobster can be shallow fried. Start with frying the shell side down until it is bright red and then turn over and fry until the flesh is just opaque.
Take lobster out and drain on paper towels.
Drain most of the oil out of the pan except for a couple of tablespoons and quickly fry up the ginger, garlic and white parts of the green onions.
Add the lobster back to the pan. Add the green parts of the onions and toss quickly.
Then add coconut aminos and wine. Lower heat and cover and cook until the liquid is reduced till thick. Turn and baste a couple of times.
Uncover, turn the heat back up and add a small splash of brandy or whiskey in the end. Toss and cook until liquid is very thick.
Transfer to a plate and serve immediately!
- 2 lobster tails, halved and cut into sections
- sprinkling of salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 slices of ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions/green onions, chopped and white and green bits separated
- 2 TBSP tapioca flour
- 1 cup of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan for shallow frying
- 2 TBSP coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup of sherry or cooking wine
- 2-4 TBSP whiskey or brandy for finishing
- Sprinkle salt sparingly on lobster pieces and coat with tapioca flour
- heat up olive oil over high heat in a pan
- Shallow fry the lobster pieces starting with the shell side down until the shell is bright red. Then turn over and fry until flesh is just opaque. Drain lobster on paper towels.
- Drain oil from the pan except for 2 TBSP. Fry ginger, garlic and white bits of scallion quickly
- Add lobster back to the pan and also the rest of the green onions
- Toss for a minute and then add coconut aminos and wine. Lower heat to medium and cover. turn a couple of times and cook until liquid is reduced till thick
- Uncover, add the whiskey or brandy and cook until sauce is thickened again