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Old 01-18-2007, 05:20 AM   #1
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Live Lobsters

Last night I went for a seafood festival and bought a dozen lobsters. I have heard a lot about it but haven't tried it so I thought this would be a good time. They were alive and moving! The only seafood that I have made had been cleaned so this is giving me the creeps The lady just removed the legs so that it would move. I came home and pushed it in the freezer. Now I don't know what I should do.

1) how should I cook it? (the lady said plunge it into boiling water, but shouldn't it be cleaned first?)

2) is it eary to remove the meat before cooking it? since some recipes call for lobster meat.

3) any links to a video of a lobster being cleaned and cooked?

4) the lobster has been in the freezer for almost a day. Is it dead now? (this sounds silly, but I'm sorry, I'm new to this!)

thanks!

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Old 01-18-2007, 06:07 AM   #2
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I`m not sure you should have frozen then alive first!
I only know of putting them whole into the boiling water whilst still alive to cook them, and Then you extract the meat, you can feeze it later if you wish.

as for ease of meat extraction, it isn`t easy at 1`st, but after doing a few you learn a few little tricks that speed up the process.
it`s also usual to keep the white meat and the darker meat seperate also.
there is also something inside called "dead mans fingers" you Must remove those and do not eat them! they taste absolutely disgusting, and will contaminate the taste of the rest of the meat if you don`t.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:19 AM   #3
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What a shame you simply didn't take them all, completely intact and drop them into boiling water that night or the next day.

Lobster is one of the few delicacies that rarely are frozen, eaten as fresh as possible.

I'm not convinced that freezing them alive is the way to go, either. If you HAD to freeze them, I would have done it after they were cooked, or dismembered, first.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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As early as last week I would have said you should not have frozen them and would have to discard them. BUT as great a light as Whole Foods is now selling ONLY frozen lobster as a humanitarian issue!
You must cook them now and then remove the meat--at least I would.
NOt being sure of the exact kind of lobster you may have in India, I will say that for our Maine lobsters, the main sources of meat to eat are the tail and the claws. Cook but be sure not to overcook or the meat will be rubbery.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YT2095
I`m not sure you should have frozen then alive first!
I only know of putting them whole into the boiling water whilst still alive to cook them, and Then you extract the meat, you can feeze it later if you wish.

as for ease of meat extraction, it isn`t easy at 1`st, but after doing a few you learn a few little tricks that speed up the process.
it`s also usual to keep the white meat and the darker meat seperate also.
there is also something inside called "dead mans fingers" you Must remove those and do not eat them! they taste absolutely disgusting, and will contaminate the taste of the rest of the meat if you don`t.
Oh my! I wish I knew about putting it in boiling water that earlier
It is put in boiling water to kill it or to cook it?
How much time should I let it be in there?
Where should I look out ofr the dead man's finger?

Gosh I'm feeling so bad about freezing them
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:10 AM   #6
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Don't feel bad about freezing them. There are those that pt the lobsters in the freezer to "lull them to sleep" before putting in the pot. The boiling is to kill and cook them. When you are ready to have your lobster feast you can now have it on your timetable.
The dead man's fingers are the gills. You won't miss them--in the body of the lobster--and I doubt that anyone would find them appetizing enough to even try them. I have never removed before putting the entire lobster in water--it all gets cleaned after cooking.

Here is one method of cooking from a famous chef with details about harvesting the useable parts of the lobster to eat.
Cooking Lobster - The best methods for cooking lobster
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:31 AM   #7
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Once the lobster is dead it secretes an enzyme that destroys the lobster meat. This is why you always want to buy live lobsters. I do not know how freezing them live would affect the enzyme. My guess is that it could slow it down enough to not be an issue, but I really do not know.

Throw the live lobsters into a pot of boiling water or a big pot of steam (I prefer steam as it is less messy). This will kill the lobsters in a matter of seconds even though you will still hear them moving around sometimes. Trust me, they are dead by the time you count to 10. Leave them in there to cook. For a 1.5 lb lobster I think I go about 13-15 minutes, but I don't remember exactly.

For the recipes that call for cooked lobster meat, you would cook the lobster first and then remove the meat.
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:02 AM   #8
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I tested my first lobster. I boiled it for about ten mins. Following the instruction from a site I first removed the legs and then gently twisted the tail so that it detached from the rest of it. I removed the shell and found some yellow stuff which I washed off. I found this vein like thing in the tail which I pulled out. I assume is the digestive tract. Is it?
The rest of the part is now hollow. That is of no use now, is it?
I however missed the dead man's finger!
The meat was tender and sweet but lesser than what I expected!
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:06 AM   #9
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Tell me if what I'm doing is right or not then I will proceed with the rest.

I'm thinking of boiling them for shorter period and keeping the meat undercooked, cleaning it and then I will store them for later use.

Thanks so much everyone! You guys are the best
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:24 AM   #10
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Yes that black vein was the digestive thract.

How big are the lobsters (how many pounds)? 10 minutes seems like too short especially if you are starting from frozen. You did not mention the claws. Did you eat those too?

There is actually a lot of meat in the body if you know where to look and have the inclination to go digging. Most people do not, but I love it so I do dig for it. Where each of the little swimmer legs attach to the body is a knuckle and there is a decent amount of meat in each of those knuckles. You really need to get in there though. It is not a clean or easy process.
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:38 AM   #11
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Oh they are not too big 12 ounces or so. Some even smaller. It got pretty dark at night and these people were selling it at the seaside so I realised later that I should have taken bigger ones. They selling it in lots so I just bought a batch.

I read somewhere that the claws tastes the best( actually a debate between the claw meatand the tail meat) but these lobsters dont have claws!

I'll post a pic in a bit
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:41 AM   #12
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Oh man my memory card got stuck in my laptop
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
There is actually a lot of meat in the body if you know where to look and have the inclination to go digging. Most people do not, but I love it so I do dig for it. Where each of the little swimmer legs attach to the body is a knuckle and there is a decent amount of meat in each of those knuckles. You really need to get in there though. It is not a clean or easy process.

After doing what I did even while cooking I don't have the heart to eat it My mom on the other hand loved iy and finished all of it. Now I'm thinking I'll only but the cleaned, shelled lobster meat

But tell me, what part of the upper body is edible? It is quite hollow after removing the tail. Is it still worth digging in?
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:54 AM   #14
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OMG Now I realise this! They did have claws but those people removed themprobably because they are cannibalistic!
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:24 AM   #15
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Shaheen, my apologies. I did not check to see where you lived. The lobsters I was talking about would be Maine lobsters which are different from the type you would get. I do not really know much about your kind, except to say that 10 minutes in boiling water does now sounds more reasonable.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:23 PM   #16
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Shaheen, cook them to done--but not overdone. There won't be much meat to those little fellas. Just enjoy.

GB, I had never heard of freezing raw lobster either but that is now what Whole Foods is selling. I really didn't think it was even safe, but it is, according to a site I found in looking for that answer. Apparently pretty common.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:41 PM   #17
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Putting a whole live lobster in the fridge to die slowly and then preserve by freezing is not a good idea because of the toxicity concerns GB mentioned above. Freezing slows the toxins growth but doen't kill them. WF contracts only with vendors that process the lobsters in very stringent conditions. I assume they kill them and remove the head and body and then flash freeze them so that development of toxins is limited. Then they are sold right away (I assume).

If you do this, make sure you don't leave them frozen for very long. Cook them.

IMO the claws were removed to save the claw meat for someone else.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:18 PM   #18
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While I would not have frozen them, you should probably cook them ASAP (I no longer buy lobster at Whole Foods becuse of the fact that you can't buy fresh).

Blanch them in a pot of boiling water for about a minute, then remove them. This cooks the connective tissues just enough so that the tailmeat will release from the shell, but effectively leaving them raw. De-vein the tail, and you have nice big hunks of raw lobster meat!

I see you live in India. You might want to try poaching some tail pieces in Ghee. Make sure the butter is no more than 70C and cook until the tailmeat is about 62C. Serve these pieces of "poached" lobster over some rice cooked in stock and some mild spices of your choice. Cooked past 145F/62C the meat begins to toughen. Lobster meat is kinda sinewy anyways, even when raw... me having been spoiled on delicate giant sea scallops here in the NorthEast US. The claw meat of Maine lobsters is different though, and I love it's texture.

I actually prefer lobster tail/leg meat diced up in something like Lobster Salad, or diced up and added to a pilaf/risotto (or maybe in a seafood stuffing for a big piece of cod or haddock).

Good luck!
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Old 01-18-2007, 08:00 PM   #19
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Shaheen, OK you panicked.

I do it regularly. Wish I could set my flight or fight indicator to less of the panic mode and just take a breath and go with it.

No such luck.

Would personally, at this point, use this episode as a learning experience.

Would take one out, thaw it, remove the tail, and toss it in some boiling water. And taste it.

Would take another and throw it in a pot of boiling water frozen and let it cook and do the same.

Or take one and steam it.

Or try one braised in butter.

Just play with it.

I can tell you how I like to cook Homarus americanus, the New England lobster, but have no idea how to cook what species you are referring to.

There are so many 'lobsters' in the sea.

Would ask locals their ideas and experiment with the stuff you have.

Just my approach. Take care and hope you enjoy the bugs.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:15 AM   #20
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Thanks a lot everyone! I learnt a lot
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