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The Finest Lobster Guide

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Introduction

Nutritional Benefits

Different Species

Pre-Cooked/Frozen Or Alive?

How Do I Choose The Best?

Storing Lobster

3 Ways To Cook Lobster

Recipes To Try

Lobster Sauce Recipes

Eating Lobster Like A Expert

Get Fresh Seafood To Your Doorstep In Hours

Introduction

lobster

For over 100,000, since the stone age times - humans have been consuming the unique sea intricacy in lobster. In Roman times, lobster greatly rose in popularity and now in the 21st century, the King Crustacean seafood is regarded as a luxury delicacy. It is now considered a symbol of wealth - due to their hefty costs in restaurants (because of the limited supply and high demand). It is not something you eat every day (unless you're Jeff Bezos!) Many have it once a year on special occasions.

The lobster has a distinctive long body with a muscular tail, spindly legs and is best known for its infamous claws. Before they are cooked, they boast a dark shiny skin with tints from blue/green to red/purple. Once cooked they turn to their well-known bright red skin as they have red pigments called Astaxanthin in their shells - while alive they also have dark pigments called Crustacyanin which darkens their skin. When cooked these pigments are broken down - causing the bright red Astaxanthin to be shown. Lobsters tend to be sold either cooked and frozen or alive and kicking to preserve the freshness of their meat and reduce the chances of food poisoning.

Although there is great demand compared to the supply of lobster. These commercially important sea creatures have not been eaten by many. The white and firm lobster meat has a sweet succulent, flavoursome taste - the flavours are on a spectrum somewhere in between shrimp and crab. It is believed that the colder the water they are fished from - the better they taste. There is no need to season this delightful seafood due to its natural flavours!

Lobster is most commonly served with melted butter and lemon but there are many ways in which it can be consumed - I will be talking about them later on in this article.

Nutritional Benefits

Lobster contains many essential elements that are beneficial to your diet which include:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorous
  • Selenium
  • B1
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

This luxurious seafood has numerous health benefits that include:

Mental Health Benefits

Although it contrasts their aggressive-looking lobster claws - consuming lobster has been linked to decreasing aggression, impulsivity and depression. This benefit is linked to their high Omega-3 Fatty Acid content which is hard to find outside of the seafood group.  

Brain Power

As well as helping free the mind - lobster’s great vitamin and mineral content, mainly Vitamin B12 boost the power of the brain. Lobster has all-around benefits for the brain/mind!

Energizing

Lobster contains plenty of protein and low saturated fat (making it healthier than other meats) - 1 lobster serving contains roughly 30% of your advised protein consumption. Protein carries oxygen throughout the body and is often used in post-workout supplements. But I won’t advise eating lobster after every workout - it may leave a hole in your pocket!

Weight Loss

The lobster is low in calories - one cup of lobster typically contains 129 calories. The Omega-3 Fatty Acids also contribute to weight loss.

Dealing With Anaemia

The marine delicacy is high in iron and copper which are essential elements to cure or control Anaemia. Iron is highly recommended in all diets as it preserves many vital functions which include general energy, focus and the immune system.

Different Species

There are roughly 80 - 90 lobster species in the world that fall under 15 different genera. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we will not be going through every single species out there! We will be focusing on the most well-known in the UK.

British Lobster (Homarus Gammarus)

Homarus Gammarus

Also known as the native lobster (just in the UK of course!) These home-fished lobsters come from the shores of Cornwall and Scotland and are sold throughout the UK. They are in-season throughout the summer months but are still available throughout the year. Just be prepared to pay a greater price outside the summer season!

Maine Lobster (Homarus Americanus)

Homarus Americanus

This American-fished lobster has a great international reputation for its succulent and highly-rated taste. This variation never goes out of season and is steadily produced throughout the year. The USA also has a strong lobster industry which allows them to supply other countries, consistently. UK fishmongers tend to switch to importing the American Lobster when its British counterpart is out of season.

Canadian Lobster (Homarus Americanus)

Canadian Lobster

The Canadian Lobster is a slightly different variant of its American cousin, the Maine Lobster. These lobsters thrive in colder temperatures and have a few different characteristics, they have dense shells which allows them to survive in the colder Canadian climate - they can also survive 72 hours in cold water. Although they are less sweet and tender than their American counterparts, their durability features mean that they can be transported with a high survival rate. They are also cheaper than the Maine Lobster, which is why they account for 87.39% of lobster exports.

Rock Lobster (Palinuridae)

rock lobster

These unique lobsters are fished from the Caribbean coast and are sometimes referred to as ‘crayfish’. What makes them unique? They have no claws! But they can still cause injury in other ways! These lobsters are used in many lobster tail recipes due to their lack of claws. They taste similar to the British lobster but with firmer meat.

Pre-Cooked/Frozen Or Alive?

frozen lobster alive lobster


As previously mentioned, lobster must be cooked alive as there are harmful bacteria in their flesh which multiply rapidly when they are killed. Cooking lobster alive reduces the chances of food poisoning.

There are two options when choosing lobster - you can either get it pre-cooked and frozen or alive. If you cook the lobster alive - you will get a fresher taste. Some lobster buyers have complained that many pre-cooked lobster brands are overcooked which make them less delightful and chewier (not saying any names!) But if you find the right supplier, it could work out well! And it does save quite a bit of time and is less dangerous (seriously, be careful with the claws!)

Cooking lobster is relatively easy either way but if you are a first-timer or scared of a live and snapping lobster - you may feel comfortable buying a pre-cooked and frozen lobster. Frozen lobsters can also be stored more easily. It is your choice; we won’t judge you!

How Do I Choose The Best?

Starting with live lobster… They visibly have either a hard or soft shell. Lobster shell’s shed which makes their shells softer - after a few years these shells harden. Soft-shelled Lobsters have tender and sweet meat. Whilst Hard-shelled Lobsters have harder and saltier meat with more meat yield. Which one is the best? Now you know what to expect - what sounds more appetizing to you?!

hard shell and soft shell lobster

When choosing a lobster, make sure that you choose the most aggressive and active. Look out for claw movement, active legs and curling tails! The more active - the more healthier and succulent!

There is no noticeable difference between the taste of male and female lobster, but female lobsters have roe (eggs) which make great garnish! Female lobsters tend to have broader tails and their top set of swimmerets are soft and translucent. Have a look at the video below to find out how to identify the difference between a male and female lobster:

...Now onto frozen lobster. To select frozen lobster, ensure that they are bright red and their tails are tightly curled as this shows that they were alive when they were cooked and are fresh. Avoid frozen lobsters that do not have curled tails - if lobsters aren’t cooked alive it boosts the chances of poisoning!

Storing Lobster

storing lobster in fridge

We advise buying lobster less than 48 hours before cooking. Please do not take the rubber bands off their claws - it could get dangerous! Keeping the rubber bands on during cooking will not affect the taste of the lobster so keep ‘em on for your safety! There are numerous ways in which live lobster can be stored which include storing them in a tank of salt water. We’ll share our favourite way of storing lobster:

  1. Dampen newspaper in saltwater - make sure it is salt water as tap water can kill the lobster! The salt water keeps the lobster's metabolism low
  2. Wrap the newspaper around the lobster
  3. Put the wrapped lobster in a loose paper bag or container with enough space
  4. Put the lobster in the coldest part of the fridge (usually the lowest shelf at the back)

...If you decide to choose a frozen lobster, you can easily put it in the freezer - stress-free!

3 Ways To Cook Lobster

cooked lobster

The lobster is a naturally flavourful seafood - no seasoning is required. It is often eaten with melted butter and lemon. Check out 3 amazing ways in which you can cook lobster:

Boiling

  1. Fill a large pot with water, make sure that the water covers the lobster(s) - roughly 4.5L per water should be fine.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of salt per lobster that you will add to the water then bring the salt water to a strong boil on high heat.
  3. Place one live lobster in at a time head-first and make sure that the lobster(s) is fully submerged. Keep the underside away from you in case the lobster flips and splashes hot water onto you.
  4. Cover the pot tightly - regulate the heat to prevent the water from boiling over. Cook for:

    Lobster Size

    Boiling Times

    1 Lobster (450g)

    5-6 minutes

    2 Lobsters (900g)

    10-12 minutes

    3 Lobsters (1350g)

    12-14 minutes

    5-6 Lobsters (2250 - 2700g)

    18-20 minutes

  5. Leave the lobster(s) to cool for 5 minutes.Carefully remove lobsters with tongs.
  6. Serve with molten butter, if desired.

Baking 

  1. Boil the live lobster for 3 minutes so that it is half-cooked.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Transfer the half-cooked lobster to ice water and let it cool for 5 - 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the lobster to a chopping board and cut it in half from the centre with scissors.
  5. Set the lobster on the baking tray with the lobster meat facing up.
  6. Brush the lobster meat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or margarine.
  7. Bake the lobster for 15 minutes.

Grilling

  1. Boil the live lobster for 2 minutes so that it is half-cooked.
  2. Place the half-cooked lobster in ice water for 5 minutes.
  3. Split the lobster in half from the midsection.
  4. Rinse inside of the lobster.
  5. Place the lobster on the grill with the flesh touching the grill (continuously place the lobster’s claws towards the grill to ensure that they are cooked).
  6. Add lemon to the grill.
  7. Grill for 6 - 8 minutes and flip the lobster halves then cook for 1 minute.

WARNING - Graphic Scenes:

Recipes To Try

As mentioned a few times, lobster is naturally flavoursome and doesn’t require additional seasoning but if you’d still like to enhance the experience, we’ve found 3 lovely recipes for you:

 

Baked Lobster With Cheese

Baked Lobster With Cheese

“Easy baked lobster with cheese recipe for home cooks”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lobster
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 2/3 cup light cream
  • 1/2 slice bacon, chopped finely
  • 1 stalk spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 slices cheese, use your favorite cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • flour
  • dried parsley flakes

METHOD:

  1. Clean the lobster and cut it into halves (use only half the lobster). Boil the spinach in hot water, drain the water dry and chop the spinach. Set aside.
  2. Heat up a wok/skillet and add in the melted butter. Saute the garlic and bacon until aromatic, then add in the spinach and cream and bring to boil. Add salt and a pinch of sugar, and a little flour to thicken the sauce. Dish out.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F (170°C). Spread the mixture onto the body of the lobster and its head evenly. Break the cheese into small pieces and top the lobster with them. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese turns golden brown. Sprinkle dried parsley flakes on the lobster and serve hot with lemon wedges.

NOTES:

I used Kraft American Cheese for this recipe; I found Kraft to be light and becomes crispy when baked. Plus, I actually like processed cheese. You might want to use sharp cheese if you want to try this. (I do not intend to commit a "culinary sin" by using Kraft!) *wink* I saved the other half of this lobster for my second recipe, and the lobster claws for the third recipe.

Source: https://rasamalaysia.com/lobster-recipe-baked-lobster-with/

Grilled Lobster

Grilled Lobster

“This grilled lobster recipe from Bryan Webb is a great dish for dinner parties”

INGREDIENTS:

Grilled Lobster:

  • 2 lobsters, each weighing 675g
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Flavoured Butter:
  • 250g of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of root ginger, peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • salt
  • pepper

METHOD:

  1. To make the flavoured butter, put the butter in a mixing bowl and grate in the ginger and garlic. Add the lime juice and mix together. Deseed and finely chop the chilli and add to the butter. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and stalks, add to the butter and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay two sheets of cling film on top of each other on a work surface. Scrape the butter onto the cling film, then roll up tightly into a large cylinder. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  3. Put the lobsters in the freezer. This should render them insensate.
  4. To cook the lobsters, you will need a large lidded pot big enough to immerse them completely. Fill with water, add a generous quantity of salt and bring to the boil. Roughly chop the carrot, onion and celery and add to the boiling water with the herbs. Boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Place each lobster on its back with its claws tied and hold it firmly by the top of its head. Place the tip of a very sharp chef's knife on the head just beneath its mouth, lining the blade up with the lobsterʼs midline with the blade side pointed toward its tail.
  6. Pierce the lobsterʼs head downward, then place the knife tip just to the body side of the junction of its tail and thorax and cut through the midline.
  7. Holding each lobster over the back, tuck the tail underneath then drop the lobsters into the water and put the lid back on. Return to the boil for 1 minute, then switch off the heat and leave for 5 minutes before removing the lobsters from the pot.
  8. Lay each lobster on a board with the tail extended and split lengthways using a heavy knife. Discard the stomach sac from the head and the viscera from the tail. Reserve any juices – do not rinse the lobsters underwater as this washes away their flavour. Scrape out and discard all the gungy meat from the head.
  9. Disjoint the claws and carefully crack the end joints, removing the meat in the largest pieces possible. Use a small teaspoon or lobster-pick to extract the meat from all the other joints.
  10. Cut each tail into five pieces and place them back in the half-shell. Sit the lobsters on a baking tray. Divide the rest of the meat between the heads then pour any collected juices back over the lobsters. This can be done hours in advance and the lobsters kept covered with cling film.
  11. When almost ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6 and a grill on the highest setting. Slice the butter and place it over the lobsters. Put them in the oven for 5 minutes then under the hot grill until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Source: https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/grilled-lobster-recipe

Lobster Thermidor

Baked Lobster with Butter and Shallots

“Lobster Thermidor is a classic recipe that is always a showstopper on any special occasion”

INGREDIENTS:

For the Lobster:

  • 2 (1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound) live lobsters
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the Béchamel Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup lobster stock
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg

For the Thermidor:

  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2/3 cup lobster stock
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sweet or hot paprika, garnish

METHOD:

Prepare the Lobster

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. With a sharp chef's knife, split each live lobster in half lengthwise, starting with the head and working the knife back toward the tail. When you begin at the head end, the process kills the lobster instantly.
  3. Brush the lobster with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the lobster from the oven and let it cool.

Make the Béchamel Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a small skillet or saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter over medium heat and adding the flour, 1 spoonful at a time, mixing vigorously.
  3. Continue cooking and whisking until the roux is blonde or caramel in colour, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the stock and whisk well to combine.
  5. Let the mixture come to a simmer, about 2 minutes, then slowly add the milk, whisking continuously.
  6. After the mixture has simmered again—about 2 more minutes—add some salt and pepper to taste and then the nutmeg. Be mindful of not letting the béchamel boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Make the Lobster Thermidor

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. With the help of a fork, remove the meat from all parts of the cooled lobster. Reserve the empty lobster shells (just the main body) for the dish.
  3. Chop the lobster meat coarsely.
  4. In a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add the wine, sherry, lobster stock, shallot, and tarragon. Boil it down until it is thick in consistency, almost like a glaze—about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the béchamel sauce to the glaze, and stir well to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix the heavy cream with the egg yolk.
  7. Slowly add about 1/2 cup of the béchamel-glaze mixture into the egg yolk and cream, stirring constantly. (By tempering the cream-egg mixture, you won't get scrambled eggs in your sauce.)
  8. Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the béchamel-glaze.
  9. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, but don't let boil. Add the dry mustard and some salt to taste.
  10. Cook until the sauce is thickened—about 3 minutes— then remove from the heat.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Add the lobster meat to the sauce and mix well.

Bake the Lobster Thermidor

  1. Fill the empty lobster shells with the lobster Thermidor mixture, then place on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper if you like) and bake for 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the top with a little paprika as a garnish. Serve and enjoy.

NOTES:

  • If you prefer, you can eat the Thermidor outside of the shells. Instead of scooping the filling into the lobster shells, place it in a baking dish before putting it in the oven; serve with crusty bread or over egg noodles.
  • If you don't have lobster stock, you can use fish or chicken stock as a substitute.
  • When purchasing whole lobster, calculate 1 or 1 1/2 pounds of lobster per person, as the final yield will bring about 4 to 8 ounces of meat per person.

Source: https://www.lacucinaitaliana.com/recipe/main-course/baked-lobster-with-butter-and-shallots

Lobster Sauce Recipes

...And if you’d like more than melted butter and lemon - here are a few Lobster Sauce Recipes:

Emeril's Homemade Lobster Sauce

Emeril's Homemade Lobster Sauce

“A lobster cream sauce is a luxurious way to finish a seafood dish, whether spooned overcooked lobster meat, shrimp, scallops, or fish.”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cognac, or other brandy
  • Shells from 2 lobsters, weighing approximately 1 1/2 pounds each
  • 4 cups shrimp stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup heavy cream

METHOD:

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Add the butter and oil to a medium, heavy stockpot over medium-high heat.
  3. Once the butter has melted, add the onion, celery, and carrots and then cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the flour and continue to stir until the mixture is a light blond colour, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the cognac and stir for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits.
  6. Add the lobster shells, then stir in the shrimp stock. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomato paste, salt, paprika, and cayenne. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 hour.
  8. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan.
  9. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer briskly until reduced to about 3 cups, about 15 minutes.
  10. Use warm with seafood or as a finishing sauce. Enjoy.

NOTES:

  • The shells from your lobster dinner can be stored in the fridge for up to one day after they are cooked.
  • The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Lobster shells are rich in flavour and can be used in all kinds of dishes, such as lobster stock to use in soup, chowder, or risotto. It can also be made into a bisque by adding cream and cooked lobster meat.
  • The same method may be used with crab or shrimp shells.

Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/lobster-sauce-recipe-1808932

Eating Well Lobster Dipping Sauce

EatingWell Lobster Dipping Sauce

“Dip your lobster in this lightened-up lobster butter sauce recipe to save about 125 calories and 11 grams saturated fat compared to dipping your lobster into straight melted butter.”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ teaspoon all-purpose flour

METHOD:

  1. Bring wine, lemon juice and shallot to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the shallot is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter and salt and whisk until the butter is melted.
  2. Combine water and flour in a small bowl and whisk into the sauce. Cook, whisking, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.

Source: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250756/eatingwell-lobster-dipping-sauce/

Lobster Dipping Sauce

lobster dipping sauce

"Butter, lemon and garlic combine to create a buttery concoction for dipping steamed, grilled, (or however you prepare it) lobster."

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried cilantro

METHOD:

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining butter and reduce heat to low. Stir to melt the butter, then mix in the lemon juice, pepper and cilantro. Let it steep over low heat for about 10 minutes. Strain before serving if desired.

Source: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/155945/lobster-dipping-sauce/

Eating Lobster Like A Expert

To fully extract a lobster and get your money’s worth - great skill is required! Make sure that you have a nutcracker handy. This is how you eat lobster like an expert!:

  1. Twist the lobster from the middle to separate the tail and body/head.
  2. Pull off the lobster’s claws.
  3. Split the shell of the tail and pull the opposite way to separate the meat.
  4. Separate the knuckles from the claws.
  5. Use a knuckle cracker to crush the claws.
  6. Remove the small pincers, meat should fall out (if not you can pick it out).
  7. Break the claw’s shell further and remove the meat.
  8. Turn the knuckles of the lobster.
  9. Use the nutcracker to break each segment of the lobster’s knuckles.
  10. Pry open the knuckles and pluck out the meat.
  11. Go to the body/head and pull off the top of the lobster’s head.
  12. There will be a green substance called tomalley which tastes amazing! Extract the tomalley.
  13. Snap each leg off the lobster and chew the meat out with your teeth.
  14. If you really want to get your money’s worth, go back to the head/body and split the shell then extract the little bits of meat - avoiding the gills (they are not the tastiest!)

Watch the full video below:

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