Sauteed Cut-up Lobster with Chili Sauce


1 cup loosely packed basil
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
two 1-1/2-pound live lobsters, rinsed with cold water
2 to 3 hot red chilies or jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts
one 8-ounce package Asian thin rice stick noodles or cellophane (bean thread) noodles, fried in 3 tablespoons hot oil until puffed


  1. Put the basil in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to begin chopping, then add the garlic and vinegar and pulse to puree. With the motor running, drizzle in 1/3 cup of the oil, season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and pour into a container. Set aside.
  2. Put the lobsters in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes to numb them.
  3. Remove them from the freezer and use a sharp, heavy chef’s knife to split the lobster in half lengthwise through the body, which will kill them instantly.
  4. Remove the claws and crack them with the blunt side of the knife. Remove the tail shell, cut it in half, and cut each half into 2 or 3 pieces.
  5. Alternatively, you can par-cook the lobster by steaming it for 6 minutes, then hacking it up.
  6. Marinate the lobster in half of the basilgarlic-vinegar puree.
  7. Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons oil into a large wok or heavy-bottomed saute pan and heat it over high heat. Add the chilies, stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the hacked lobster; in batches if necessary. Quickly stir-fry the lobster in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes, periodically splashing it with a few tablespoons of wine to help steam and flavor it.
  8. Cover the wok and let it steam for 4 to 5 minutes. The lobster is done when the shell has turned bright red and the meat is opaque.
  9. Add a few tablespoons of basil puree, butter, and peanuts to the wok and stir to coat the lobster. Serve the lobster pieces with their shells on a platter or individual plates on a bed of fried noodles.
  10. Pass nutcrackers and plenty of napkins alongside.

Makes 2 servings.


  • Replace the lobster with fresh jumbo shrimp, Louisiana crawfish, or mussels, cooking all of them in their shells.
  • Serve the lobster and sauce over linguine or basmati rice.
  • Add sliced chicken breast, sauteed until brown, along with the lobster. Or add halved, blanched, shocked, and drained broccoli raab stems along with the lobster.

Source: Nightly Specials