Honestly I hardly ever can leave Billingsgate without buying a lobster: even it’s not the cheapest catch but it’s just so sweet and delicious that I always feel that I’ve missed something when i decide not to get one. You know, YOLO, you can get hit by a car, diagnosed with a terminal disease and you have only 2 days that is Sunday and Monday when the market is closed and you just missed your last fresh lobster….. okay not that serious but definitely one of the best things (hand in hand with the scallops) that you can get from there.
The recipe as usually is really simple, the only possible pain point is to get the meat out of the shell (and of course killing that poor thing for the faint hearted). I will be totally honest, I do nothing but dropping the lobster into the boiling water, and i have to tell you that I’ve never seen any of the poor crustaceans fighting or screaming. If you think that it makes any difference you can put them to the freezer for 15 mins and then give it a strong stab through the head and then pushing down the knife cutting the brain in half, I leave it to you…. (just don’t forget to grab that knife firmly, even wrapping some kitchen towels around it’s hilt as if your hand slips over the edge that would be nasty…) So once we spent 2 days moralizing on animal welfare, humanity, why there’s so much suffering in the world and whether God is that old kind bloke from the book, put the lobster into a huge pot of boiling water (dead or alive) for 15-17 mins / 2lbs and once ready transfer it to another bowl preferably filled with ice cold water, but cold running tap water would do the trick too. Once cooled, tear off all of the legs, the claws, grab the body with one hand and the tail with the other and give a firm twist to the tail while gently pulling away from the body, the tail should come off easily. There are a couple of methods how to open the tail-piece, I just simply place it into my palm, inner side up and from the body end and with a strong kitchen scissor cut the relatively thin membrane towards the tail end. Then holding both sides in my hands pulling the carapace apart and the meat should just pop out. Cut it lenghtwise that once was the upper side of it and remove / wash any dirt you find. Claws: you can use the top-flat side of your chef’s knife, a hammer, a nutcracker, a rolling pin to crack the claws, and then you can pull out the meat easily same goes for the knuckles. Legs: tear the legs into small pieces and place a rolling pin on one end and just roll it towards the other end: the meat will come out like your toothpaste from it’s tube. Finally the meat from the head: this is tricky and time consuming but there are plenty really tasty meet in there: like with the tail part pull apart the carapace so we’ll have the gills (remove them) the brown meat, tasty but we’re not using it this time, and the tasty, tender white meat between the bones. So take your time, use fingers, or a chopstick and one by one mine the meat out. I know all this looks quite difficult, time consuming and messy but after your second lobster you will get all of the meat in no time. (check out the video at the end of the post)
Once we have all the meat out (that is about 85% of the whole process) lets prepare our wonderful, sweet, lobster-y filling: cut all the larger pieces (tail, claws) into chunky pieces, add the mayo – really just enough to slightly cover the meat – the chives, a little salt and pepper, and whilst it’s not part of the traditional recipes I usually add a few cherry tomatoes cut in quarters and de-seeded. Finally a few drops of lemon or lime, mix all this together and we are ready to serve: slit the buns on the topside to create the pockets, brush the inner sides with melted butter, fill it with some shredded lettuce and finally add the lobster meat.
And that’s it !
- - 1 lobster ~900-1000gr
- - 4 brioche hot-dog bun
- - 1 tbs finely chopped chives
- - 4 tbs any kind of shredded lettuce
- - 10 small cherry tomatoes, deseeded
- - 1-1/2 tbs mayo
- - few drops of lemon
- - salt pepper
- - melted butter
- Step 1 – cook the lobster
- Step 2 - take the meat out of the shell
- Step 3 - cut the tail and claw meat into chunky pieces
- Step 4 - add the mayo, chives, tomatoes, drops of lemon, salt and pepper, mix well
- Step 5 - cut the buns topside lengthwise, leave the ends intact,
- Step 6 - brush the inner side with the melted butter
- Step 7 - add some shredded lettuce
- Step 8 - stuff the meat into the pockets