Lobster is a delectable meat with an irresistibly buttery taste and delicate texture, but there are many ways to enjoy this delectable animal beyond the classic lobster roll or steamed whole lobster.
Mount Desert Islanders often enjoy a simple steamed lobster with chips or fries and corn on the cob, but for something more substantial there are many other delicious options – from savory to sweet.
Remove the Claws
No matter if you’re making a simple lobster salad or an elaborate pasta dish, a whole lobster is always delicious. But before serving it to guests, be sure to remove its claws, tail and legs.
To open lobster claws, the best tool to use is a nut pick; however, sharp chef’s knives or lobster crackers work just as well. Use the blunt edge of these tools to carefully tap each claw against its shell; it should open and allow you to take out the meat.
Claws can also be removed with a long-handled cocktail fork, though you must take great care to separate them from the lobster’s body. Claw meat is softer and sweeter than tail meat, making it popular in crab rolls or other lobster dishes.
Before shelling the lobster, be sure to thoroughly rinse it. Doing this will help eliminate any dirt or grime that could make handling it difficult. Additionally, drain any urine that has built up inside of the body of the lobster by inserting a long skewer (like a chopstick) into its belly.
Once your lobster is clean, split its head in half. Don a bib or hand towel to protect yourself from any spills; don’t forget your apron either!
Separate the Tail from the Body
One popular way to prepare a lobster is by steaming or boiling it and eating it whole with some melted butter. You may also serve it stuffed and baked, with creamy sauce, or roasted on top of vegetables.
To separate the tail from its body, use a sharp knife to cut a wide slit along each end about an inch long. Make sure the slit faces inward so that the shell won’t split open when you take out the meat from its source.
Once the slit is made, you can pull out both tail and body sections separately by twisting them in opposite directions. This method offers the most efficient and satisfying way to eat a lobster since you won’t break or damage its shell while cutting each half in half.
If you have leftover tail meat, you can incorporate it into soups, salads or sandwiches. Many chefs like to use the claws in a lobster roll while using the tail in a clam bake or pasta dish.
For an even tastier option, grill the tails. This will cook them more thoroughly and create a drier texture than when boiled or steamed.
Remove the Legs
To enjoy a more satisfying experience when eating lobster legs, simply follow these easy steps. These steps will make the process of deboning this delectable treat much smoother for you.
Begin by prepping a large chopping board. This will allow you to handle the lobster safely and without fear of damaging its shell. Additionally, place a damp tea towel beneath it so that any juices that may run from the lobster while you are cutting it up are caught.
Once your chopping board is ready, place the lobster on it. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice through the lobster body lengthwise from just under its head to its tail. Finally, turn both body and tail over so you can admire its claws.
Next, use a nutcracker or lobster cracker to open the large portion of each claw and allow you to scoop out the meat. Hopefully, each leg should come out intact as long as you take care not to break its shell.
Leg meat can be enjoyed on its own or combined with other ingredients in recipes like lobster risotto or lobster soup. When mixing the leg meat into other ingredients, cut it into smaller pieces so it’s easier to scoop out.
You could also incorporate lobster meat into a stir-fry, which is another nutritious option for eating lobster. This dish is ideal for those trying to lose weight and looking for healthier alternatives to seafood dishes.
Crack the Shell
A whole lobster is a special treat that requires some finesse and practice to get just right. But once the shell has been cracked open, you can enjoy all of its succulent goodness in all its glory!
Grilling a lobster is the ideal way to enjoy it. The meat comes out slightly drier and with more flavor than when boiled or steamed – especially if the lobster has been prepared in either brine or saltwater bath.
Begin by splitting the lobster lengthwise down its back. Use a knife to carefully slice along each side of its tail, taking care not to cut through any meat. Depending on how big your lobster is, this process may take as little as 10 minutes or up to 15 minutes depending on its size.
Next, remove the claws. You can use a lobster cracker or knife to break open their shell; some people opt not to eat the tomalley (greenish portion located inside each leg) which lies inside each claw.
Knuckles can be tough and chewy, so it’s best to keep them separated from your body. You may use a cracker or knife to open them as well.
Another option is to place the lobster meat inside a hot dog bun and serve it with melted butter and lemon. This dish is popular at Miller’s in Spruce Head.
Once the lobster is cooked, take it from the water and place it on a cutting board or other flat surface. With one hand, grasp its tail; with your other, gently bend back the meat until you hear a crack.