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Bao-ed Lobster in Warm Chile Butter

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I have no loyalties when it comes to lobster rolls. If you pile sweet chunks of crustacean on a bun, I’m sold. Yet...

Bao-ed Lobster in Warm Chile Butter

I have no loyalties when it comes to lobster rolls. If you pile sweet chunks of crustacean on a bun, I’m sold. Yet there’s something about the Connecticut style—warm, buttery lobster as opposed to the chilled mayo-coated Maine style—that gets me particularly amped. Purists, look away: I use scallion, cilantro, and Sriracha in my version. For anyone who thinks Sriracha is played out, I dare you to taste what happens when it gets mellowed with butter and brightened with lemon juice. Chinese steamed bao buns provide a slightly sweet, doughy backdrop similar to the classic split-top bun.

Excerpted from the book ASIAN-AMERICAN by Dale Talde with JJ Goode. Copyright © 2015 by Dale Talde, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.  

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh or frozen Chinese buns (aka gua bao, folded buns, or steamed sandwiches)
  • 1/4 Pound unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  • 1/4 Cup sriracha
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 10 Ounces cooked lobster meat, chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 Tablespoon loosely packed cilantro leaves

Directions

Right before you serve, arrange the buns on a plate, cover them with damp paper towels, and microwave, flipping once, about 1 minute.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the Sriracha, chile flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low, add the lobster, and stir occasionally just until the lobster is hot all the way through, 1 to 2 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, scallions, and cilantro. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice. Cover to keep it warm.

Remove the buns from the parchment and put them on a plate. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lobster meat to the bao buns, spoon on as much of the sauce as you’d like, and eat.