In my former life, whenever work took me to New York, we would sometimes stop by the Oyster Bar and order half a dozen East Coast oysters and a fresh lobster dinner to celebrate the end of an incredibly long, exhausting day. Nothing feels more summery and celebratory than this delicious crustacean and cold beer (or champagne!).
There is a lot of debate on the most humane way of cooking a crustacean. I came from a family who cooks a live crustacean straight into boiling water, but this method is actually banned in some places. The method considered most humane is to swiftly stab the lobster between its eyes- efficiently debilitating its nervous system then plunging it straight into a pot of boiling water. Some say that one should freeze them beforehand, which as cold-blooded creatures will numb them from feeling the boiling water. In our household, we did all three- freezing, stabbing then boiling.
I have to admit, that although I’ve done this before, I was more than a little anxious about the stabbing part with the song “Lobster Killer” playing on loop in my head- but once the deed was done, it wasn’t too bad. I put together a quick 30-second tutorial below, but just as a warning, it may still be a bit graphic.
Cooking a Lobster
- Purchase a fresh lobster; The best way to check for freshness is leg movement. Lobsters recently refrigerated may seem sluggish, so also check the freshness with its scent. They should smell like the sea.
- Freeze lobster for 1 hour; it slows their heart rate and since they’re cold-blooded it’s supposed to numb them efficiently before being boiled
- Bring a large pot of water to boil
- With a very sharp knife, place the point either between their eyes OR where their heads meet their tails and plunge the knife in one swift movement; Both these locations are said to be where their nervous system can be easily disabled; Proceed with caution since hard-shelled, older crabs will might be harder to pierce
- Immediately place the lobster into the boiling water; Cook the lobster for 7 minutes for the first pound and an additional 3-4 minutes for every pound after
- Once done cooking, place the lobster into an ice bath so it can be easily handled
- Serve with clarified butter and a fresh salad to balance out the richness
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, stirring frequently as not to burn
- Once the butter has melted, using a spoon- scoop out the milk solids that would float to the top of mixture and slowly pour into a clean container to separate the milk solids that sank to the bottom
Enjoy!Tags: dinner, lunch, preparation, seafood