How To Crack And Pick Out Lobster
The first thing to say about cracking and picking out lobster is that everyone has his or her own method. This is how I was taught to eat lobster from the shell and how I continue to teach others. This method is also detailed in my book.
- Lobster cracker (you can purchase special ‘lobster crackers’ but nut crackers often work just as well).
- Lobster pick (a slender metal instrument for extracting meat from the small joints of the lobster).
- A bucket or bowl for discarding lobster shells plus a plate or bowl for the lobster meat.
- Paper towels – lots of them!
- Melted butter or lemon as a dressing for the lobster, if you wish.
- Hold the lobster by the back (carapace) with one hand. With the other hand, grab the legs and tear them off with a gentle twisting motion. Save the legs and chew on them while you are working your way through the rest of the lobster. They contain some deliciously sweet juices and bits of meat.
- Continue to hold the lobster by the back with one hand and, with the other, tear both claws off by gently twisting the claws at the point where the claw knuckles attach to the body.
- Use the cracker to snap apart each of the knuckles. Then use the lobster pick to scoop out the meat from each knuckle. This is some of the sweetest meat of the lobster. Enjoy.
- Next, use the cracker to break open each claw. By holding the tip of the claw in one hand and, with the other hand, place the cracker sideways over the fattest part of the claw and squeeze hard. Once you’ve made a big crack in the claw, you can usually snap it apart with two hands and easily scoop out the meat.
- To remove the lobster tail, grasp the tail in one hand and the back of the lobster in the other and then twist in opposite directions. The tail should easily separate from the body with this motion. Next, break the flippers off the end of the tail with your hands. Once the flippers are removed, you can use a fork or your fingers to push the meat out of the tail.
- Once the tail meat is removed, you’ll want to peel the top, tab-like section of meat away from the tail. Underneath this tab you will most likely see a long, thin brownish strip nestled into the crevice of the tail. You’ll want to wipe or wash away this substance, as it is the lobster’s waste.
- If you venture inside the body, you’ll notice a greenish, grayish substance, which is the lobster’s liver. The liver, called “tomalley,” is edible though it has a briny flavor (versus that of the sweet lobster meat), and many people choose to discard it.
- You will notice a white substance around the meat of your lobster (on the claws in particular). This is the blood of the lobster and safe to eat though flavorless.
- Finally, enjoy! Some people dip their lobster in melted butter or give it a squirt of lemon but I like mine plane so I can enjoy its sweet, natural flavor.
And if you’re looking for more advice, here are some lobster wine pairing recommendations as well as recommendations on the best side dishes with lobster.
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