Steamed Lobster with Garlic-Ginger-Basil Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Here, the classic steamed lobster is completely transformed. This quite elegant dish can be made in less than an hour, even if you must begin by clarifying the butter.

4 servings

Cooking Methodsteaming



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFormal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course


Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturelight, savory, spiced


  • Four 1½-pound lobsters, claws separated
  • ½ cup clarified unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced garlic
  • One 4-inch piece fresh ginger, julienned
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 8 cups pea shoots and leaves
  • 4 lemon wedges for serving


Fill a large bowl with water and ice and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt it.

Add the lobster claws to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, then transfer to the ice water bath. When cool, remove the meat completely from the shells and set aside. Add the remaining lobster parts to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the ice water bath. When cool, remove the heads from the bodies. Split the tails lengthwise in half, keeping the shells on. (You can remove the vein from the tail if you like.)

Prepare the sauce. Put the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and simmer, shaking the skillet occasionally, until golden brown, 3 minutes. Add the ginger, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until fragrant. Add the basil and cook briefly, just until wilted. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, put the claws and tails in a large steamer. Top with the pea shoots and a sprinkling of salt, and cook just until the lobster is heated through and the pea shoots are wilted, about 3 minutes.

Mound the pea shoots in the middle of each serving plate and top with the lobster claw meat and tails. Spoon the sauce over the lobster and serve immediately, with the lemon wedges.


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