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
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
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.
Bugs & Slipper Lobster Recipes