New England Lobster Sauce

A Twist on Kowloon’s Recipe

For years my husband has ordered Lobster Sauce. Let’s just start with the fact that this sauce does not contain lobster. At all. But it used to when lobster was less expensive. Eventually it was substituted for shrimp and the Cantonese version of “Shrimp with Lobster Sauce” was born. Traditionally, lobster sauce is lighter in color but here in New England, apparently that wasn’t good enough. So someone put black bean sauce in the recipe and the darker sauce was born!

The original recipe from which I’ve devised this Tasty Twist can be found on’s website: Kowloon’s Lobster Sauce. THAT recipe was someone else’s creation from a popular restaurant in Saugus, MA. Or something. Honestly, without going directly to Kowloon’s and asking to copy the recipe, there’s no “original” source.

My tweaks are based on making not only a larger portion but also something that, according to my husband, bests the recipe of all the local Chinese places.

Tasty Twist: Lobster Sauce (New England Style)

  • 1 lb. ground beef (90/10 or better if possible)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 5 tbsp. Black Bean Sauce
  • 2 tsp. molasses
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch (with 3 tbsp. water)
  • 1.5 cp. water
  • small amount of fresh chives/green onion for garnish

Start by following the recipe from Kowloon’s Lobster Sauce. Get a large sauce pan going on med-high heat. When the pan is hot, put your oil in there and then your beef. When it’s about 1/2 cooked (more pink than brown) throw in your garlic.

You’re looking for the beef to be MOSTLY brown but you should still see some pink. Don’t worry, the last few steps will take long enough that you’ll end up cooking the beef fully. It’s safe. Add in your water and stir.

At this point you’re adding everything else in but don’t dawdle. Turn your heat down to medium and keep stirring while you add the remaining ingredients. Black bean sauce first, then molasses. Stir after each addition to start the thickening process. What you’ll notice is that the sauce gets dark. The molasses adds a sweetness that really rounds out the flavors.

Once that’s done, ask yourself how thick you want your sauce. If you’re serving this over rice (I recommend Jasmine Rice), then you’re going to want it pretty thick. This is where that cornstarch comes in. Make a slurry in separate container using the cornstarch and 3 tbsp. of water. I use a spare mug or something. Now add that slowly to the pan while stirring. I recommend pouring in about half and watching to see how that effects the thickness.

Still too runny? Add the rest! KEEP STIRRING. Also, remember, as you stir and it sits there it will continue to thicken. Personally, I used the entire 3 tbsp. because I like it like that. So does hubby.

Thickened sauce

The finished product! Just a pinch of fresh chives to give it a little color. Like I said before, I serve this over Jasmine Rice which lends the sauce a really nice base. The stickiness of the rice compliments this rich sauce very nicely. Enjoy and let me know how it turned out!

Bon Apetit!

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