Lobster is a delicious and decadent treat that many people enjoy on special occasions. But if you want to experience lobster the way the locals do in New England, you need to know how to cook and eat it like a pro. Here are some tips and tricks to help you enjoy lobstah like a true New Englander.
How to Cook Lobstah
There are different ways to cook lobster, but the most traditional and straightforward method is boiling. Boiling lobster preserves the natural flavor and juiciness of the meat, and it’s easy to do at home. Here’s how:
- Buy live lobsters. Live lobsters are fresher and tastier than frozen ones, and they’re widely available in New England. Look for lobsters that are active, have no cracks or black marks on their shells, and have all their legs and claws intact. Choose lobsters that are 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, which is a good size for one person.
- Fill a large pot with water. Add 2 tablespoons of coarse salt for each quart of water, and bring it to a boil over high heat. The water should be salty enough to taste like seawater.
- Plunge the lobsters into the water headfirst. Use tongs to grab the lobsters by the body and lower them into the boiling water one at a time. Cover the pot with a lid and wait for the water to return to a boil.
- Cook the lobsters for 7 to 14 minutes, depending on their size. A one-pound lobster will take about 10 minutes, while a two-pound lobster will take about 20 minutes. The lobsters are done when their shells turn bright red and their antennae pull out easily.
- Remove the lobsters from the pot and let them drain on a platter. Place them on their backs to keep the juices inside. You can also plunge them into an ice bath and refrigerate them for up to one day if you want to serve them cold.
How to Eat Lobstah
Eating lobster is a joyful and messy experience that calls for a little of preparation and the right equipment. A nutcracker or lobster cracker, a lobster pick or fork, melted butter, a lemon slice, a bib, and plenty of napkins are all necessities. Learn the proper way to eat your lobstah:
- Start with the claws. Twist the claws off the body, and then use the tool to pry the shell open. Use the pick or fork to get the meat out of the shell. It tastes great with butter and lemon juice.
- Move on to the tail. Separate the tail from the rest of the animal by bending it backwards until it breaks. Carefully remove the dark vein from the centre of the tail meat as you pull it out. The flesh from the tail should be cut into small pieces and dipped in a mixture of butter and lemon juice.
- Don’t forget the knuckles. The knuckles are the joints that connect the claws to the body. They have tender and sweet meat that can be tricky to get out. Use the pick or fork to poke around the shell and pull out the meat.
- Explore the body. The body contains some edible parts that are worth trying if you’re adventurous. Lift off the carapace (the top part of the shell) and discard the green tomalley (the liver) and the red roe (the eggs) if present. You can eat these parts if you like, but they have a strong flavor that some people find unpleasant. Inside the body, you’ll find some white meat attached to thin legs and ribs. Use your fingers or pick to pull out this meat.
- Enjoy your lobstah feast. Eat your lobster with some corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato salad, or other sides of your choice. Wash it down with some beer, wine, or lemonade. And don’t forget to lick your fingers!