Typhoon Shelter Lobster Recipe

Sweet, garlicky lobster is fried quickly and tossed with spicy ground pork, ginger, and herbs in this flashy and delectable centerpiece.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 2-4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


for the pepper salt: 
6 tablespoons kosher salt 
4 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns 
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon MSG 


for the ground meat:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup|150 grams thinly sliced shallots
4 ounces|113 grams ground fatty pork (ground pork belly is ideal, substitute 1 tablespoon duck fat and 4 ounces regular ground pork if you can’t get hold of ground fatty pork)
¼ cup|40 grams minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine 

for the lobster:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
1 (2-pound|900 gram) whole lobster, broken down into 10 pieces (ask your fishmonger to help, or watch the video below for tips on how to do it yourself!)
1 cup|145 grams cornstarch
1 cup|150 grams thinly sliced shallots 
2 scallions, julienned
2 tablespoons minced garlic 
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced 
1 handful cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped into 2 to 3 inch pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste`


  1. Make the pepper salt: Toast the salt with the Szechuan and black peppercorns in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until they start to smoke, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely, then blend to a powder in a spice grinder and mix with the sugar and MSG.
  2. Make the ground meat topping: Get a wok or large saucepan nuclear hot over high heat. Add the oil, then the shallots and cook until they start to get a little color, about 2 minutes. Add the pork and, using a wooden spoon, break the pork up into smaller pieces and cook until it’s 80% cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until golden, 1 minute more. Add the soy sauce and cook until completely dry, about 30 seconds, then add the wine and fish sauce to deglaze. Cook until dry, about 1 minute, then, using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe the wok clean.
  3. Prepare the lobster: Heat 3-inches oil in a large Dutch oven until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 425°F to 450°F. Get a colander and toss the lobster in the cornstarch. The cornstarch acts like a barrier to prevent the lobster from absorbing the grease. Add the lobster to the oil and fry until a crust is formed, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lobster to a rack fitted over a baking sheet and set aside.
  4. Get the wok nuclear hot and add a tablespoon of oil, plus the shallots and scallions. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño and cook until fragrant and cooked through,1 to 2 minutes more.
  5. Add the reserved ground meat topping, the lobster, and the cilantro and toss a couple of times. Season to taste with the pepper-salt, then transfer to a platter to serve. 

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