Lobster Pool Restaurant

The Secrets to Cracking and Eating Lobster


Nothing beats the taste of fresh lobster on a cool summer night. But getting to that delicate flesh takes a lot of hard work — and frustration — if you don't know how to crack a lobster. Have no fear! We're going to reveal the secrets to cracking and eating lobster, so you can spend more time enjoying it, and less time fighting with your food. Grab your lobster bib, throw down some newspaper on the table and let's get cracking.


How to Crack a Lobster

Cracking a lobster is simpler than you think. First, let's talk about the tools that you'll need:

  • Seafood scissors
  • Seafood or nut crackers
  • Seafood picks
  • Lots of napkins
  • Bowls for empty shells
  • Lobster bibs

Make sure that everyone has their own set of tools, napkins and a bib before you get started.

  1. Don't forget to put on your bib! Remember, there's a lot of water inside a lobster, and that water will squirt out from time to time. Cracking a lobster is messy — there's no way around it.
  2. Start off by removing the claws. Hold the lobster's body with one hand and twist the claws off with your other hand.
  3. Use a lobster cracker (or nut cracker) to crack each knuckle and claw. If you have the strength — and the determination — you can do this by hand. Use a tiny fork to remove the meat.
  4. Remove the legs and the spongy gills from the body. Suck out the juice and meat from the legs.
  5. Separate the underside of the lobster from the shell by pulling it apart. You'll see a green substance inside. This is called tomalley, and it's basically the lobster's liver. You can eat it — it's edible — but most people discard this part. Sometimes the tomalley will be black. In this case, it's not cooked, and you do not want to eat it.
  6. Separate the tail by breaking off the tail flippers. Use your fork to push the tail meat out in one piece. You should see a black vein that runs the entire length of the tail meat. Remove it and throw it out.

If you're eating a female lobster, you'll find roe at the top ridge of the tail meat. Roe is, essentially, lobster caviar and is delicious. If the roe is black, this means that it's undercooked. If you want to eat this portion, you'll need to steam it for a few minutes first until it turns red. Once it turns red, it's ready to be eaten.

Lobster is best eaten outdoors, so if you make a mess — and you will — you won't have to clean up the entire kitchen. If you have to eat indoors, try to avoid eating over carpet, or put down a tarp to catch any juices that drip or fly around.

Lobster is typically paired with melted butter, but it also tastes great with garlic aioli or mayonnaise. If this is your first time eating lobster, give these secrets a try to see which one you like best.

Now, go wash your hands, revel in that feeling of pride, and grab yourself another lobster. You deserve it after all the hard work.

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