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Lobster à la bystander

By Christopher Tan
17 June 2013 2:35 PM Updated 02 Jul 2013

Lobster à la bystander

Photo: National Museum of Singapore

One-dish meals are usually big bowls of comfort fare that can scooped up with slices of crusty bread. This recipe elevated a simple baked dish into something more luxurious. The most difficult to execute part of this recipe is the cooking and shelling of the lobster itself. Once you have the sweet lobster meat, it is simple a matter of mixing all the ingredients together and tossing it into the oven.

To find out how this fits as a wartime recipe, read our interview with recipe writer Christopher Tan here.

Recipe serves 3 to 4
Preparation time:
15 minutes
Cooking time:
45 minutes

2 lobsters
4 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
125 grams canned tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
A pinch of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small bits
Fresh coriander leaves, for garnish

1. Steam or boil lobsters until cooked through. Shell and extract all the meat.
2. Chop meat coarsely. You should have about 2 cups, loosely packed.
3. Include or discard the greenish tomalley, as you desire.
4. Combine lobster meat in a large mixing bowl with grated coconut, tomato sauce, sherry, paprika, and salt and pepper.
5. Fold everything together until well mixed.
6. Spoon mixture into a casserole dish and dot the top with butter.
7. Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for about 20 minutes, until fragrant and browned on top
8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot, with crusty bread or buttered rice on the side

The recipes, tried, adapted and tested by Christopher Tan, are featured in the documentary Eat to Live: Wartime Recipes, based on the book Wartime Kitchen: Food and Eating in Singapore (1942-1950).

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