Whether you want to impress your friends with a fancy dish that they won’t stop talking about for weeks or prepare a romantic dinner to enjoy with your loved one, a lobster dish is your secret weapon.
You don’t have to be a master chef to prepare a dish at home that can compete with fancy restaurants. In this article, I’ve got you covered with my pro tips and tricks to help you get started on your lobster cooking spree.
So, without further ado, here’s everything I’ve learned over my years of experiencing in the kitchen.
1. It All Starts with a Fresh Lobster
A fresh lobster has an unmistakable rich flavor that makes for a perfect savory dish, bringing us to why I believe a live lobster is a way to go.
You can pick a live lobster right from the tank of your local premium fish market, or have it delivered to your doorstep through an established online source. In case you’re wondering, my favorite source is LobsterAnywhere, I always end up with a fresh lobster and a quick overnight delivery.
However, if you think dealing with live lobsters can be a hassle that you’re not ready for, you can always go for frozen lobster tails. They don’t decompose as fast as the rest of the lobster, so they retain their delicious flavor and tender consistency even when frozen.
Keep in mind; live lobsters aren’t as difficult to handle as you think. Just give it a try, and you’ll wonder why you ever doubted yourself!
2. Remove the Rubber Bands
You don’t want to be anywhere near the claws of live lobsters, that’s why they are always sold with rubber bands around their claws. Such bands can create a rubbery aftertaste that might ruin all your hard work.
This is my segue into an uneasy task I have in store for you, but trust me, it’ll be worth the effort. Before dropping the lobster to your cooking pot, I recommend getting rid of the rubber bands. In order to make things easier, freeze your live lobster for about 10 to 30 minutes to get it less agitated beforehand.
Then, by using a long-bladed knife or shears, try slipping or cutting the rubber bands off the lobster’s claws. Make sure you do so while holding the lobster away from your body. Now it’s time to drop the lobster head-first into a cooking pan with boiling water.
This sequence is the most humane way to kill the lobster without sacrificing the rich flavor of its meat.
3. Go for Steaming
When it comes to cooking lobsters, I’ll take steaming over boiling any day. Though it takes more time, the results are worth the wait. This way, the lobster retains its ocean smell and flavor. Furthermore, you get tender, juicy meat that doesn’t feel as waterlogged as that you get when boiling.
As the process is slow and depends on hot water vapor to do most of the work, there is less chance of ending up with an overcooked lobster. Make sure you follow the recommended steaming times according to each lobster’s weight for the best results.
After choosing the perfect-sized pot, make sure the lid is tightly closed for efficient cooking. If you have a dedicated steaming rack, it would be a welcomed addition to your setup. Such a rack prevents the lobsters from sticking to the bottom of the pan and coming in direct contact with the hot metal.
4. Make Sure Your Lobster Is Well-Cooked
Beginners are usually more concerned with avoiding serving an overcooked lobster, and in the process, they can overlook the possibility of it being undercooked. With a few simple signs, you can tell when the lobster is well-cooked and ready to come out of the pot.
First and foremost, the translucent meat should become creamy, and you can see the crust taking a fiery red or pink color. If you’re still unsure and want to double-check, you can use a thermometer and check the lobsters’ internal temperature. The number should be around 140 degrees Fahrenheit(60 degrees Celsius) to signal that your lobster has had enough.
When the lobster checks these boxes, it’s time to take your pot off the heat. However, you’d be surprised that this is not enough to prevent overcooking. The steam has already been built up under the enclosed crust and continues to cook the meat. That’s why placing the lobster in another pot with crushed ice is a crucial final step.
5. Prepare Your Dipping Sauce
Your lobster dish won’t be complete without dipping sauce on the side to accentuate the flavor. It’s a matter of personal preference, but some dipping just fit better than others with lobster.
For starters, molten butter is the key ingredient of a traditional lobster sauce, and you can start experimenting from there.
For all the citrus lovers out there, adding some lemon to your butter dipping can be a game-changer. Additionally, garlic butter sauce is another classic that is customizable to your liking by adding extra herbs or mushrooms.
Aside from flavored butter, the possibilities are endless! From cheese to the hot sauce, serving different dipping ensures you have something for everyone.
The key to a juicy lobster dish lies in some missable details along the way. I hope this article provided you with enough insight to confidently sign up for preparing such a fancy recipe. Picking fresh lobsters, cutting off the rubber bands, choosing the ideal cooking method, and preparing the right dipping will make for the best results possible. Bon Appetit!