This time in "Cuisine of the World," we explain how to make the dish from Hong Kong cuisine, "Cheese Lobster." We visited the "Honsen Kaisen Shuka" restaurant in Odaiba, together with Terumasa Watanabe and his family, who were previously stationed in Hong Kong for Marubeni.
The dish this time is "Cheese Lobster," which is a popular dish often served at various kinds of drinking parties and banquets in Hong Kong. "Honsen Kaisen Shuka" is a restaurant chain with 2 restaurants now opened in Japan, specializing in Hong Kong-style cuisine, and we asked them to make this dish for us specially. "Honsen Kaisen Shuka" also has a dozen or so restaurants in Hong Kong itself, where it is considered a high-class seafood restaurant, and Mr. Watanabe recalled "I used restaurants in this chain on several occasions during my time in Hong Kong." This dish, which comprises a lavish volume of lobster with a generous topping of rich cheese sauce, is nothing short of pure luxury.
Competition among high-class restaurants in Hong Kong is fierce, but perhaps because households where both partners work is the norm and people eat out more often, there are also lots of delicious cheaper restaurants. "There is a particularly abundant range of seafood, cooked mainly by steaming or stir-frying, using lots of garlic. My recommendation would have to be the dim sum. It is the best in the world!" says Mr. Watanabe. There is also a wide variety of frozen dim sum available in the local supermarkets so that people often eat it at home too.
About the people of Hong Kong, Mrs. Watanabe recalls, "Everybody is very lively and fast-talking, so at first I felt quite over-powered, but in fact they are very warm people and easy to get along with." Her daughter says she also remembers how the manager of the apartment block where they lived at the time loved children and was always very kind to her.
After Hong Kong was returned to China, the international role of Hong Kong changed somewhat, but due to the liveliness and kindness of the people who live there, "I believe that Hong Kong will continue to be an important base in Asia," says Mr. Watanabe. To the Watanabes, Hong Kong is a place filled with fond memories, and remains a city where they would like to live as a family again some day.
|Lobsters||2 (each approx. 800g)|
|Potato starch (katakuriko)||as required|
|Cheese (for the topping)||as required|
|Hong Kong noodles (*)||as required|
* The ingredients can be obtained in a Chinese supermarket, etc.
Step 1: Cut up the meat of the lobster, which has been pre-boiled, into chunks, sprinkle the chunks with potato starch and fry them lightly. Remove when the surface turns a golden brown color. Set aside one head and one tail part for use later.
Step 2: Place the butter and flour in a bowl, and dissolve it in Chinese bean oil that has been heated to 90 degrees Celsius.
Adjust the amount of flour and butter you use according to the amount of lobster you have.
Step 3: Stir fry the finely-chopped garlic and, when the aroma begins to rise, add the chicken stock soup, the cheese, pepper, salt and sugar, before turning off the heat and adding the flour and butter mixture from Step 2, then adding milk and stirring while allowing it to simmer briefly.
Step 4: When it is ready, put the lobster from Step 1 into the cheese sauce from Step 3 and toss them together until they are loosely mixed.
Step 5: Place the head and tail on either edge of a plate, spreading the Hong Kong noodles (which have already been boiled) between them, and covering the noodles with the lobster and sauce mixture from Step 4. Sprinkle some more cheese on top and melt it in the oven to complete.
From: “Shareholder’s guide Marubeni,” Vol.107 (published in December 2009)