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How to Cook & Prepare Lobster

Live lobsters can be obtained from fishermen at some harbours or, in towns, from specialist fishmongers. As a rule, however, these regal, distinctive shellfish are sold cooked.

Lobsters are available all year round, the most popular sizes are between 500g and 1.5kg in weight. When live, they should feel heavy for their size and be lively when picked up. The dark shells turn bright red on being cooked; if buying a ready-cooked lobster look for a dry firm shell and tightly curled tail. Lobsters are often dressed and eaten cold with mayonnaise, but there are also many superb hot lobster dishes; many of them call for the meat to be prepared, then returned to the shell for presentation.


How to Prepare Lobster

On a cutting board directly in front of you, place the lobster with it's head to the right and tail to the left (reverse if you are left-handed). Hold the tail with a towel so you don't scratch yourself on any spines. Hold a large knife above the lobster as though to split it lengthwise. Insert the tip of the knife into the joint between the head and tail.

Lower the knife firmly to split the lobster's head lengthwise. Now rotate the lobster so the tail is to your right. Continue holding the lobster with the towel. Although the lobster is now dead, the muscles may contract sharply, so there's still danger of scratching yourself.

Clean the lobster by removing the sand sack (the organ located behind the eyes) and the intestine.

How to Boil a Lobster

To boil a lobster plunge it live into plenty of boiling court-bouillon, boil for 20 minutes then leave to cool in the liquid. Lobsters that appear lifeless must be rejected because they will have become waterlogged and lost most of their flesh and flavour. The flesh of a freshly cooked lobster should be white, moist and flavourful. To serve it as half lobster, either cold or hot, first remove the claws by twisting them from the carapace and crack them open with a heavy knife so as to take out the flesh whole. Remove the small legs, then lay the lobster on the work surface and cut into two halves along the natural line on the head, turning it and continuing through the body to the end of the tail. Discard the sac from the head and the black trail through the body. It is now ready to serve cold or for further hot processing according to recipe. The thin legs and shells of a cooked lobster should be kept for making soup and sauces.

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See Also:  Lobster Recipes from Sea-Ex  |  Lobster Information  |  Where to buy Prawns  |  Buyers and Sellers of Lobsters  |  Contact Us  |

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