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eatingwitheddie

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

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Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

When did you first eat it?

Where do you like to eat/order it?

What do you expect when you order it?

What color is it's sauce?

Is it authentic or Americanzied Chinese food?

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Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

When did you first eat it?

Where do you like to eat/order it?

What do you expect when you order it?

What color is it's sauce?

Is it authentic or Americanzied Chinese food?

The question is when did I first not eat Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. During my formative years the Moore family went to our favorite Chinese Restaurant, in Morristown NJ, just off the square. Wonder if it's still there.

Anyway, my mother always ordered Shrimp and Lobster Sauce and I, being a good son, kept up that practice for at least the first fifteen years I was on my own. I still order it often, especially when I have a cold. Seems to work as good as chicken soup.

It does seem to be regional. Elsewhere I've seen it with a dark brownish sauce. Here in Philadelphia the sauce is much thinner than I prefer. I prefer the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce of my youth, a milky white sauce, fairly thick, lots and lots of shrimp, and plenty of green peas too. The fact that I then add soy sauce, making the sauce the same brown color that I object to, doesn't stop me from wanting the sauce to be white when it arrives at my table.

I've always thought Shrimp with Lobster Sauce was genuine Chinese fare, but I could easily be mistaking.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I think it's Americanized.

But I've never had it....

Actually reading a lot of your posts made me realize I haven't tasted a lot of things you guys have.

You are correct to assume that most Chinese restaurants who cater to Chinese customers are not those frequented by gringos (i.e. P.F. Changs). For the longest time I took a lot of things for granted, but I've just started to notice that the specialty items of the house are either posted on the wall or there is no English translation available. Which is really unfortunate for a lot of people who want to taste something authentic or innovative but can't read Chinese. I don't mean to offend anyone and I apologize if I do. Frankly I'm very surprised at the palates of the majority of the people here since you guys are considered gourmets anywhere else. I thought there would have been more exposure. When I was reading about your banquet at Sweet & Tart and FG mentioned that he didn't think Chinese soup could be so complex, I was just so surprised to read such a thing...

I've tasted kung pao but don't care for it. I don't like hot & sour soup. I don't eat chow mein. I've never had moo shu. It's weird; it's like this parallel universe where I grew up eating dishes very different. And I'm not slamming any of the Americanized dishes either; they don't taste bad.

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Your semi-rant made me laugh and I found it interesting too. I too have never had shrimp with lobster sauce and I'm not even sure what it is. Maybe it's time to add it to the list of things my partner is cooking...he calls it his Americanized Chinese food phase. There were all these dishes we kept hearing about that people think of as Chinese food but he never grew up eating nor has ate since leaving the nest some 20 years ago. So far he's made kung pao chicken (which if you do it the way they do it in classic cooking schools in China is surprisingly good) and Mongolian lamb..no wait, I made the Mongolian lamb... and he's threatening to make sweet and sour pork next just for fun.

But some things I don't think you can say are not Chinese (like hot and sour or kung pao) just that they aren't classics from the region of cooking you're familiar with. For example, he's hokkien, with a paranakan stepmom, so it's not surprising that he didn't run into a lot of classic eastern or northern dishes in his formative food years. I had a Taiwanese boss for a while and once I made choy yuk bao (Cantonese style pork and cabbage steamed bao) and brought some in to him. He was so excited to see them and then his face just fell when he tasted them...he told me they weren't made the right way and he had to go out and get some he liked just to get over the disappointment...meanwhile other ethnic Chinese friends couldn't get enough. I have a colleague currently who told us her favorite way to stir fry cabbage...she's from the north and does it with dried chillies and black vinegar. I did it that way and really loved and then when the parnter tried to do it he automatically put ginger in because he couldn't fathom cabbage without ginger...when she smelled our lunch she told us it smelled funny...

Another thing is that many dishes have the same name but are in no way related to how they're made in their birthplace and how they're made other places. My friend went to southern China and was really surprised by all the "sweet and sour pork" she saw people eating in little hole in the walls...of course, it was nothing at all like what gets sold by the same name in the restaurants she'd been to in LA.

Then there are the familial biases that get introduced. The partner's grandmother didn't consider noodles a proper meal, so he'd have to sneak out for chow mein or chaw kway with his friends.

Anyhow, we still have no idea who General Tso is and why he was so concerned with chicken.

regards,

trillium

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I think it's Americanized.

For the longest time I took a lot of things for granted, but I've just started to notice that the specialty items of the house are either posted on the wall or there is no English translation available. Which is really unfortunate for a lot of people who want to taste something authentic or innovative but can't read Chinese. I don't mean to offend anyone and I apologize if I do. Frankly I'm very surprised at the palates of the majority of the people here since you guys are considered gourmets anywhere else. I thought there would have been more exposure. When I was reading about your banquet at Sweet & Tart and FG mentioned that he didn't think Chinese soup could be so complex, I was just so surprised to read such a thing...

What is the Calvin Trillin book that has the story about him finding a professor of linguistics who could translate the specials from the walls of Chinese restaurants for him? I'll try to find it, it is hilarious. He goes on and on about how he tries to order what the Chinese people at the next table are eating, but the waiter always tells him that he won't like it.

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My favorite Shrimp with Lobster Sauce is a brown sauce of shrimp, ground pork, garlic, ginger and black beans. It's finished with an whole beaten egg stirred in. Usually not on the menu if you're out in the boondocks, but if you explain what you want you may be surprised. I don't know if it is an authentic dish but servers become more friendly when I ask for it when it's not on the menu.

PJ


"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

When did you first eat it?

Where do you like to eat/order it?

What do you expect when you order it?

What color is it's sauce?

Is it authentic or Americanzied Chinese food?

a. When I was about 10 years old at King Yum restaurant in Hollis Hills, Queens.

b. My local take out joint.

c. I expect the shrimps to be big, juicy, plentiful, and not overcooked. I expect there to be lots of ground pork to be in the sauce, with chopped scallions, and not too much egg white.

d. I expect the sauce to be rediculously gloppy, but white.

e. its totally Americanized.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Growing up in suburban NJ, my first Chinese food meals were definitely Americanized, and quite often I might add. I also have to admit that I didn't exactly like shrimp until a little later in life, but the Americanized shrimp and lobster sauce was one of the only things I ate (without the shrimp). It was always white, and now that I can think back on it, definitely thickened with excess cornstarch.

In these days, I would certainly appreciate trying a real shrimp and lobster sauce.

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what I don't get is that some takeout palaces will sell Lobster Sauce by either the pint or the quart all by itself. whether this is a potential moneymaker or not beats me.

I always thought "x" with lobster sauce was a way for Chinese takeout palaces to market something seemingly exotic without going out on a limb and exerting the effort needed to produce something authentically exotic (i.e., REAL lobster sauce) -- hence the overuse of things like egg white in order to produce the APPEARANCE of something approximating crab or lobster. Its a cheap and relatively effective way to market a dish that has very little or no basis in reality whatsoever.

Soba

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Many Chinese sauces are named for what they are made to flavor, not for what they contain. Lobster Sauce, Fish Sauce, etc. Anyone who buys a quart of Lobster Sauce without the lobster--or shrimp--most likely deserves what he bought.

PJ


"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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If have some frozen shrimps at home, buy just the lobster sauce and combine the two. It's relatively economical and you can use whatever size shrimps you like best.

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True shrimp with lobster sauce is nothing more nor less than shrimp with black bean sauce. Lobster , in Cantonese cuisine, is traditionally served with black bean sauce which is often renamed "lobster sauce".


Ruth Friedman

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Thanks Ruth. You've confirmed what I've come to believe about this sauce. It can be called Black Bean or Lobster Sauce--but not "white" Lobster Sauce :blink: . Having recently ordered Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce at a well-respected local restaurant--hey, they're using jasmine rice--I was served something with bell peppers in it and no egg whatsoever.

Sigh, at least I can cook the real deal at home.

PJ


Edited by pjs (log)

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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pjs writes:

"One of my favorite Chinese recipes. Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, or Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce, or the new one, Shrimp with Egg Sauce."


Edited by eatingwitheddie (log)

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pjs writes:

"One of my favorite Chinese recipes. Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, or Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce, or the new one, Shrimp with Egg Sauce."

True comfort food.

I am also fond of shrimp with egg and chive.

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Ah, the food of my youth, along with Egg Foo Yung and Wor Shu Op! Now I've got to go find some again.

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Suzanne, Wor Shu Op?


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Suzanne, Wor Shu Op?

I also remember wor shu op from the days of "one from group A and two from group B". We encountered it only once and I cannot for the life of me recall where, except that it was not in NYC. If I remember correctly it was crisply roasted duck on a bed of some salad greens. Probably some Chinese American invention but, at that time, we enjoyed it and never saw it on another menu.

Ruth Friedman


Ruth Friedman

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Thanks, Ruth.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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If only it had been crisp! What I remember is strips of duck (meat, fat, and skin) coated in ground almonds, and served in some undefinable brown sauce over yes, shredded iceberg lettuce. :sad: But who knew any better? Remember that I grew up in Flushing, NY, in the 1950s and '60s -- LONG before there was any good Chinese food available there. (For the record, we always went to Joy Wah.)

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Why isn't it shrimp with shrimp sauce? Is the sauce ever used on lobster?


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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or shrimp sauce on lobster?

I probably wouldnt care...those all sound great to me! :smile:


Edited by awbrig (log)

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Or lobster sauce on lobster?

Growing up on Long Island, Lobster with Lobster Sauce was called Lobster Cantonese. The best part was sucking the lobster meat and sauce out of the shells. Messy but delicious.


"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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