Butter Poached Lobster with Fermented Black Bean Sauce

From chef Kyle Groves, Catch and The Oyster Bar

2013 Nov/Dec


  • 4 1-1/2 lb. lobsters
  • thinly sliced green onions
  • Sauce:
  • 1 whole garlic head, cloves peeled
  • 8 oz. ginger root, peeled
  • 12 oz. soy sauce
  • 6 oz. sugar
  • 1-1/2 T. Sichuan peppercorns
  • 4 c. vegetable stock
  • 1-1/2 T. cornstarch
  • 8 oz. fermented black beans (from Asian markets)


Blend the garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender. Sweat the mixture, covered, over low heat, about 2 to 3 minutes, to cook it without browning, then add the soy sauce and sugar. Boil the peppercorns in the vegetable stock until they are soft, then blend them in the stock. Add the peppercorn stock to the ginger and soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil.

Whisk the cornstarch into 8 oz. cold water to make a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the hot sauce and bring back to a boil to thicken a bit. Add the black beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep warm.

Butter Poached Lobsters:

Cook four 1-1/2 lb. lobsters in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook 2 minutes. Remove the lobsters and put them in ice water to cool. Remove the meat from the tail and claws, keeping the meat whole. Place the lobster meat into buerre monté (recipe follows) and warm it until it’s cooked, about 6-8 minutes. Ensure you maintain a gentle heat to avoid toughening the lobster meat.

To serve, place the lobster on 4 plates. Spoon the black bean sauce over the lobster meat and top with thinly sliced green onion. Add sautéed vegetables, such as snap peas and broccoli that have been cooked with some sesame oil. Serves 4.

Buerre Monté:

In a non-reactive saucepan, bring 1-1/2 T. water to a boil, then whisk in 2 lbs. cold, salted butter, cut into cubes. Whisk the cubes in one at a time. Once the butter has been whisked in, heat it until just below the boiling point and maintain that heat.