When traveling to the east coast, whether it be the USA to Maine or Massachusetts, or Canada to PEI, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick an obligatory meal is lobster. Lobster rolls, lobster bisque, the list goes on and on.
Whole lobster is one of those delicacies that you can only dream about in the midwest. Sure, it’s available, but not fresh, like on the coast, which meant that I had never eaten a lobster whole. Ever.
Luckily for us, the tourist season on Prince Edward Island was over and we had a patient waitress who was more than happy to talk us through the wonders of eating a whole lobster. After that we became old hands at cracking through the sweet meat of fresh lobster!
How to eat a whole lobster
Getting ready- Ingredients:
Fresh Boiled Lobster
Fork or lobster pick
Lobster or Nut cracker
Butter, if desired
Bowl for discarded shell
1. Twist off the claws.
If you’re eating a lobster at a restaurant they will usually crack the claw shell for you ahead of time, which makes it easy to pull out the meat. If you’re making it at home then you’ll want to crack the shell with a lobster (or nut) cracker. Discard the shell into your separate bowl for discarded parts.
The claw meat is my favorite part- the most tender and sweetest part.
2. Separate the tail from the body and remove the meat.
The easiest way to get the meat out of the tail is to push a fork in at the end of the tail and push the meat out the side that was previously connected to the body. If there is a black vein still attached to the meat remove and discard that part into your discard bowl.
3. Break off the individual tail flippers and legs.
There is meat on each flipper and well worth the extra bit of effort to remove. You can suck out the pieces of meat that are too small to extract. Your lobster pick should be able to help extract the meat from the legs.
4. Pull apart the shell surrounding the body.
Pull the top shell away from the body. You will immediately see a green substance. This is the tomalley- lobster liver. It’s edible, so don’t throw it away. You may also see some a red substance. This means that your lobster was female and it’s “Lobster Caviar”. It’s very flavorful so don’t eat it all in one bite.
Crack open the middle of the underside of the body and pull apart to gain access to the rest of the body and pull out every other piece of meat possible.
Saving all the lobster meat until you’re done with the extraction is hard. Feel free to eat as you go, or save all the meat and enjoy at the end. Either way you’ll be happy.
If desired, dip your lobster in melted butter to enhance the flavors. Plain lobster is equally heavenly though, so don’t feel like you need to add butter.
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