Shrimp (and Crab) with Lobster Sauce

This was an adaptation of a recipe I found here. My husband and I have always enjoyed the Americanized version of this dish (you know, with the opaque sauce and peas and carrots from the local Chinese takeout joint?), but our minds were BLOWN when we ordered this at an incredible Asian restaurant in Chicago. We had never seen this dish with a brown sauce before so I scoured the internet to find a more authentic Cantonese recipe and this one delivered. I couldn’t resist the peas, though.

* Updated 12/16/16 with new pictures (finally!)*



This is a dish that comes together VERY quickly so I highly suggest everything be prepped and ready to throw into the wok prior to even turning on the stove. If you don’t own a wok, a large sauté pan will do the job. Just keep an eye on the liquid ingredients to make sure you have plenty of room.

First, marinade the peeled and deveined shrimp.


Then, prepare all of the other ingredients. Boil your peas according to package directions, make the “sauce”, prepare chicken broth mixture, prepare cornstarch and water mixture, chop your aromatics, beat your eggs and gather any other utensils/ingredients you may need. Here’s my set up.



Now, we’re off! Throw the pork, garlic, ginger, white parts of green onions and Black Bean Sauce into a ripping hot wok (or whatever vessel you have that works best) and let it brown stirring often.



Once the pork is browned, add the marinated shrimp and let cook for about a minute. These next 2 pictures show the shrimp JUST ADDED (1) and WHEN I ADDED THE BROTH (2). Notice the shrimp are not cooked through.


1 (just added)


2 (1 minute later, time for the broth)


Add your broth mixture and bring to a quick boil (AKA this is meant to be done over high heat!).



Next, add your “sauce” and peas (if using). Let it come back up to a simmer.



I didn’t have time to photograph this in stages because it’s a quick process.

  1. Add cornstarch mixture and bring to desired consistency. You may want to add a little more than recommended, but I didn’t want to overdo it for the recipe. Remember that adding the egg will thicken it a little more so don’t go crazy.
  2. Add your egg in a slow, steady stream all around the wok while slowly stirring. The point is to create nice ribbons of egg without clumping.



Finish it up by adding your green onions. If adding crab, add it at this point as well since it is already cooked. (I didn’t use crab this time so it’s not pictured)



Serve it up with some white rice and you will have some of the best “take out” food in the comfort of your own home. Actually, it’s better than takeout it’s more like authentic Cantonese. YUM!






Now, go get your Cantonese cooking on!


Shrimp (and Crab) with Lobster Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print


  • 12 Medium to Large Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • Marinade for Shrimp (see below)
  • 1 Tbs cooking oil (vegetable, corn, or peanut)
  • 1 cup Ground Pork
  • 1 Tbs Black Bean Sauce (found at local Asian market)
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger, minced (approx. 1 Tbs)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (approx. 1 Tbs)
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tbs Chinese Cooking Wine (suggested brand: Shoa Xing)
  • 1 Tbs Seafood Stock (optional)
  • Sauce (see below)
  • 1 cup cooked peas (optional)
  • 2Tbs cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs cold water (to thicken sauce), or more to desired consistency
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions, whites and greens separated
  • 1/2 cup lump crab meat, precooked (optional)

Shrimp Marinade

  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs Chinese Cooking Wine (suggested brand: Shoa Xing)

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs light soy sauce (regular soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce (found at local Asian Market)
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil (note: not to be confused with Toasted Sesame Oil which has a MUCH stronger flavor. Depending on what you have, use more or less. This is just to add flavor. Too much is NOT good.)
  • Dash of White Pepper
  • Pinch of sugar


  1. Mix together “Sauce” ingredients and set aside.
  2. Combine Chicken Broth and 1 Tbs cooking wine (and Seafood Stock, if using) and set aside.
  3. Combine 1 Tbs cornstarch and 2 Tbs cold water, set aside
  4. If using, cook peas according to package directions, set aside
  5. Marinate Shrimp for 15 minutes.
  6. Heat wok (or large saute pan) over high heat until hot.
  7. Add 1 Tbs cooking oil.
  8. Add Ground Pork, ginger, garlic, white parts of green onions and Black Bean Sauce to wok and cook until Pork is browned.
  9. Add Shrimp and stir fry for 1 minute (will not be cooked through at this point).
  10. Add Chicken Broth, cooking wine and Seafood Stock, if using.
  11. Bring to a quick boil.
  12. Add “Sauce” (and peas, if using).
  13. Incorporate cornstarch mixture to thicken (will thicken  a bit more when you add the egg so don’t go crazy).
  14. Slowly drizzle in beaten egg while very gently swirling the sauce and then let sit for 20 seconds before stirring again. The idea is to create a ribbon of egg without any clumps (like egg drop soup!).
  15. Add cooked crab meat, if using.
  16. Add more White Pepper, if needed, to taste.
  17. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with green onions.
  18. Serve over steamed white rice.

This dish comes together very quickly so it’s important to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready before starting to cook.

I’d love to hear any feedback on this recipe (it being my first post and all!) so please give it a whirl and let me know how it turned out!





4 thoughts on “Shrimp (and Crab) with Lobster Sauce

  1. Jacquelyn says:

    I don’t know when the recipe was posted but…my first taste of Shrimp and Lobster Sauce in a brown sauce was in a local Chinese place in CHICAGO, I was about 20 or so, I am now 89 and this is the only way I ate it until I tried it at other restaurants in different cities and states, it was NEVER again served in a brown sauce and I just didn’t enjoy it. Searched for recipes never found one with a brown sauce, until I accidentally found this one, I am very anxious to try it out. The Chicago restaurant went out of business many years ago, and I left Chicago many years ago also, hopefully I will be able to taste this before I leave this earth. LOL


  2. Mike says:

    I just wanted to say that this kind of brown “lobster sauce” is kind of a usual style up in New England at the “older” chinese restaurants, particularly in Massachusetts.
    You can do the shrimp the way you like, but the restaurant throws them in the bubbling sauce at the very end where they heat for about a minute before the dish is quickly assembled, and then the hot sauce and shrimp is put on top of the dish, covered, and carried away to be served so they are perfectly cooked when it lands on your table.


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