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how to cook a lobster – it’s easier than you think!

how to cook a lobsterLobster season is now open and the shop near us, Wayne’s World Lobster, opened its doors last Thursday.  Heading there to pick out our lobster was a fond reminder of my childhood.  Twice a year (possibly 3) my parents would drive to a lobster pound and choose the ones they would take home.  Sometimes my dad would go alone and he always brought back periwinkles, clams, and on occasion, scallops.  It was a real treat and my dad always cooked and cut up the lobster.  My siblings and I would devour every inch possible of the crustacean.

I take my hat off to any fisherman who heads out in the wee hours of the morning, stay at sea for days battling the elements, loading and unloading traps or nets, all the while loving what they do knowing that each day brings its own set of possible dangers.   Below is a short video highlighting the fishermen heading out to drop their lobster traps on the first morning of the season.

A lobster takes seven years to gain one pound.  Conservation measures have been in place since the 1870’s with the first initiative by placing egg-bearing females back into the water.  The fishermen have a device to measure the length of the body and if it’s too small, it’s placed back into the water.  This allows for the population to continue to grow and gives future fishermen a place to earn a living.

There are different opinions on how to cook a lobster.  My parents used to drop them into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 20 minutes (they were usually 1-pound lobsters).  I have veered away from this method and prefer to half steam, half boil.  We usually buy 2-pound to 2 1/2-pound lobster; we share as there’s plenty of meat for the both of us.  I use a roasting pan (big enough to hold a turkey) with a cover and fill it with just enough water to cover the pan (roughly 3-inches of water – you want to make sure there’s enough water to last the cooking time).  Add sea salt and taste the water…it should taste of the sea.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Place lobster in the pan and cover.  Bring back to a boil and cook 12 minutes.

Remove from the pan and run under cold water to help stop the meat from cooking further.  Watch the following from lobster.ca on how to cut it up.  Finish by plating up and serve with melted butter.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Some say to remove the rubber bands from the claws of the lobster as the rubber will flavour the water and get absorbed into the meat.  I say hogwash!  The lobster is alive and kicking and you don’t want to get pinched or crushed by one of their claws.  My lobster has never tasted of rubber.   Enjoy!

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