It’s October and it’s mushroom season in China! You can find all types of beautiful mushrooms at your local wet market. The shiitakes are thick, plump, meaty and full flavored. For the chive oil, it can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready for use. We use this fragrant oil on everything from poached eggs, grilled salmon and scallop ceviche to brushing on toast before browning in toaster oven. The lobster we picked up from the Tonchuan seafood market was 80 kuai per jin. If you ever get a chance to go shop there, watch out for fish mongers quoting 300+RMB a jin (1 jin = 500 grams, or 1.34 pound) for lobsters. You can always bargain with them, and the fair price should be between 80-120RMB a jin.

1 – 1 1/2 pound live Maine lobster
2 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch of chives, finely chopped
1/2 cup canola oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix the canola oil with finely chopped chives. Add a small pinch of salt. With the back of a spoon, press on the chives and stir around so the chives are incorporated with the oil. Cover with saran wrap and let infuse while you prepare the lobster and mushrooms.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the lobster in the water then turn heat down to medium. Cover and cook until lobster is just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove lobster from pot, let cool in the sink and de-shell. Slice the lobster tail into 3/4″ slices.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium saute pan. Add minced garlic, stir for a few seconds then add the mushroom slices. Season with salt & pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they are soft and slightly golden brown.

Place the mushrooms on a plate, top with sliced lobster, drizzle with chive oil and serve immediately.


Spiny lobster at the Tongchuan seafood market.


Jesse likes these mantis shrimp, but they scare me the way they look like bugs. He says they’re tasty when deep fried then tossed in white pepper and salt.


Tanks after tanks of live geoduck.

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