Though this recipe for Poor Man’s Lobster may seem like a play on words here in the Poor Man’s Gourmet Kitchen, I assure you the title and name of this recipe is for real. Poor Man’s Lobster dates way back and it is a legitimate recipe and cheaper alternative to the real thing. I can buy a healthy Filet of Cod that will break down into over a dozen 5 oz Lobster tail size pieces for only $12 bucks! Poor man’s Lobster can be made with Halibut too, and it is the preferred method as far as flavor goes, but you’re also going to be spending a little more for that cut to equal the amount of meat you can slice out of a Cod. Either way, you will find your self with a few more bills in your wallet if you purchase these two fish and follow a recipe like this one, vs. shelling out the clams for the real deal. A dozen 5 to 8 oz Lobster tails is going to cost you a minimum of 60 bucks. So stay with me here and I’ll show you a cheaper, healthy Alternative!
Cutting your Fillet is Simple. Using a sharp knife, cut across the width of the fillet keeping a 1 1/2 inch portion between each slice. This will accurately portion out every cut piece to approximately the same size of tail meat you would be pulling from the average lobster tail. Now all you have to do is follow the recipe below to properly season the water for your Poor Man’s Lobster boil.
Poor Man’s Lobster Ingredients:
1 cod filet
1 pot of water (approximately 1 qt)
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice or half squeezed lemon
1/4 stick of butter
2 bay leaves (optional)
Lets nail down the issues most people have with making Tempura, starting with buying it in a box. For the most part, you’re just buying a box of flour with a fancy picture on the front that shows you how good it could look if you buy their product. But does that make sense? You’ve got flour at home in your kitchen, right? Oh, maybe you need the directions on the back of the box. Wait, that doesn’t make sense either because you’ve got the web at your finger tips. You can just look it up. So here we are, you and I, and we’re going to get through this together.
Tempura in a Box
The truth is that no matter what the contents of that Tempura box are, flour, corn starch or whatever, the box directions are WRONG! Sure they give you a few pointers from step 1 to 3 but they don’t talk about a few key issues you will have if you don’t mix it in the right order, if you just use regular tap water or if you don’t keep your batter ice cold. That’s right. If you ignore any one of these 3 things, your Tempura is not going to turn out right.
1 egg yoke
1 cup Tonic or Seltzer Water, Carbanated is the key
1 cup Flour
Mix the ingredients in a bowl over the top of another bowl full of ice water
Stir the liquids first, then add the flour and don’t over mix; leave it lumpy
Use ice cold Tonic or Seltzer water, not Tap, to get the batter to poof up
Watch the video tutorial and follow these simple instructions and you will have perfect Tempura, every single time.
Do you know the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein? What about the difference between Chow Mein and Chow Mein? Ah, you didn’t know there are two different kinds of Chow Mein? If you do that’s great, but most people don’t. I didn’t. Well at least at the time I was ordering it from a menu and got something I thought was entirely different and not what I was expecting at all. That experience was years ago but it was the day that I learned the difference between Eastern and Western Chow Mein.
Eastern Chow Mein is what I got when I was expecting something different. Apparently Western Chow Mein is what I was expecting and if that’s what I wanted from a place that serves the “Eastern” version of Chow Mein, rather, I should have ordered Lo Mein and it would’ve been the same thing. Are you confused yet?
Western Chow Mein and Lo Mein recipes are virtually the same thing; lots of oily soft noodles with minimal vegetables. Eastern Chow Mein is practically the opposite with a few variances, but basically lots of vegetables and minimal crispy noodles. Western Chow Mein is my favorite, though I’ve come to love the Eastern version and often crave that recipe from time to time. Lo Mein, or rather, Western Chow Mein is what I’ll be focusing on in this recipe.
Noodles, Noodles, Lo Mein Noodles
Never use Spaghetti noodles unless you want to fit in with all of the other yahoo’s out there that really don’t know what they’re doing. You may not know either, but with this Lo Mein/Chow Mein recipe, you’ll be able to wing it like the pros and no one will be able to tell the difference. You can, however, pull this off with Angel Hair Pasta, but I’m still not recommending an Italian noodle for a Chinese dish. If you can pick up a soft noodle, something doughy or already cooked near the Tofu and egg roll wrappers in your grocery store, then that’s as good as it’s going to get, unless you make your own. Though today, I’m going to show you how to do this with an all time very inexpensive favorite of mine, Ramen! Nissin Top Ramen is what I’m using, with the chicken flavored seasoning packet. You can literally use any flavor you prefer, but most Restaurants use a chicken or vegetable stock in their kitchen. So trust me with this one because you’re going to need the broth even after you cook your noodles.
Cook The Noodles Al Dente. This just means that you need to slightly under cook the noodles. The reason for this is because they need to be cooked a second time when they are tossed with the vegetables, and this will keep them from getting over cooked and sticky. Another important tip you need to know is the oil. I have found that Peanut oil gives a more professional taste to the flavor of the noodles. Don’t ask me why, because Chinese Restaurants will use Canola and even Soy Bean oil for their noodles, but I just don’t think they bring out that delicious fast food street vendor style of Lo Mein we’ve all grown to love. For all I know, peanut oil is what the street vendors use. I can’t be certain but it sure tastes right!
1 pkg Noodles
4 ounces of Broth from the Noodle bouillon
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp Hoisin or Oyster Sauce
1/3 cup Peanut Oil
1 chopped Garlic Clove
1 1/2 Mixed Vegetables
Vegetables should include Cabbage, Onion and Carrot at a minimum, but can also contain Mushroom, Celery and Bean Sprouts. Feel free to add any precooked meats like, Shrimp, Chicken or Beef. Rob the 4 ounces of Broth from the Noodle bouillon and mix the sugar and your choice of Hoisin or Oyster to make the Secret Sauce. Both are good but add a completely different taste so just choose your favorite. Cook the noodles Al Dente and strain, then cook the vegetables in the peanut oil and garlic for 30 seconds, add the noodles and toss, then poor the “Secret Sauce” into the noodles and stir until the coloring is even through out the noodles. The whole cooking process, tossing the vegetables and then combining with the noodles, shouldn’t take you more than 1 full minute to complete. Serve the Lo Mein Family Style, on one plate, then dish out separately.