Lobster

Lobster

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The Australian rock lobster (spiny lobster or crayfish), with its long antennae and rough, spiny carapace (shell), is one of the delights of the crustacean world. The meat, most of which is found in the tail, is sweet, firm-textured and very white when it is cooked. It can be used in any recipe needing lobster meat.

Allow ½ large or 1 small lobster per serving. They may be bought live or ready cooked. When buying cooked lobster, make certain the tail is tightly curled into the body and snaps back when straightened, and that the lobster is heavy for its size. The smell should be sweet and fresh. A 1–1.5 kg lobster is ideal; larger ones tend to be rather tough so are best avoided.

The European lobster or French homard from northern seas differs from the Australian rock lobster in that it has large pincer claws, containing much of the sweet juicy meat, and a smooth, shiny carapace.

To boil lobster: If a recipe calls for green (uncooked) lobster, it should be killed immediately before cooking. To boil, place lobster in a large saucepan of fresh cold water and bring slowly to simmering point. Simmer for 10 minutes for the first 500 g weight and 7 minutes for each 500 g over. Remove from water and allow to cool.

You may use frozen green lobster tails instead, if you prefer.

To clean lobster: Use a heavy sharp knife. Cut the lobster in half lengthways. Insert the point of the knife at the tail, cut towards the head and slit the underside. Remove the intestinal vein that runs the length of the lobster, and all the soft matter in the body and at the top of the head. Retain any orange or pink roe and the thick, dark-brown liquid, which is the mustard or tomalley. The roe can be gently poached; the mustard can be used in a sauce or butter for the lobster, or can be placed in a small bowl and cooked in a water bath, to be served separately as an accompaniment or used as a spread for canapés.

To remove meat from shell: Prise the meat from the tail and body with a sharp knife and cut into pieces. The meat may be extracted from the legs by breaking them at the joints and carefully pulling the meat out. Rinse carapace and dry well. It can then be used as a container in which to serve the meat.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
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