How to prepare live lobsters.

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acc2020

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What do i do to them prior to cooking in salted boiling water?

Once shelled is all the flesh edible including from the head?

I'm using them for lobster salad.

thanks
 

Snip 13

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Most people eat just the meat from the tail and claws. I eat the bits from the head but I also suck out the head when I eat prawns..lol! Unless you like that sort of thing and most people don't just go for the "white meat"
 

CharlieD

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Some people will just boil the lobster as is. Some more religious people would punkture a whole in the head of the lobster before cooking as it is prohibited to cook live animal.
 

BreezyCooking

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How fortuitous - I'm making lobster tonight as well, although we'll be enjoying them boiled & then served with melted lemon butter (& corn on the cob + a green salad).

I've been cooking live lobsters for over 35 years now, & it's simplicity itself. Just bring a pot large enough to hold the lobsters (or at least able to do one at a time) to a boil. No salt is necessary - the lobsters have enough salt on their own). Then just pop them in (they'll expire nearly immediately - no need to mourn) & depending on size, cook them for 15-20 minutes (which works for the normal-sized 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounders). Remove & allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before splitting to eat hot; or to pick for salad or to pop into the fridge to pick out another day.

As far as what's edible - EVERYTHING!! Except for the gills, also known as "dead man's fingers", which are easy to spot as fibrous & fingerlike & nothing you'd want to eat anyway. They're not poisonous or anything, just not pleasant. But everything else in a lobster is edible - & DELICIOUS!!! We suck the meat out of the legs, & pick the meat out of the body, which, by the way is identical to lump crab meat in a well-filled lobster. (I really pity the folks that just toss the body out without realizing this.) The "green stuff" - aka "liver" or "tomalley" is also sweet & delicious, but some folks pass on it because as the liver, it will also contain any contaminants that may be present. And the "red/orange stuff", if present in a female, is the roe or eggs, & that's a true delicacy for many - myself included.

If you're still not interested in picking out the body (again - a real shame), you can pop it into the freezer & use it at a later time to make a wonderful lobster or seafood stock.
 

acc2020

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Do you pierce the bowel area to drain off any urine prior to cooking ?

On male lobsters do they have visibe penises ? I'm not too keen on eating this.

Do you gut them like you would with a king prawn ? ie slitting along the back and removing the black stringy yucky stuff ?
 

CraigC

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Some people will just boil the lobster as is. Some more religious people would punkture a whole in the head of the lobster before cooking as it is prohibited to cook live animal.

Where is it prohibited? Crabs are boiled/steamed live, crawfish are boiled live, clams and mussels are cooked live. Oysters are also cooked live sometimes. What religion prohibits this or are you saying there is a real law in effect?

Craig
 

BreezyCooking

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Do you pierce the bowel area to drain off any urine prior to cooking ?

On male lobsters do they have visibe penises ? I'm not too keen on eating this.

Do you gut them like you would with a king prawn ? ie slitting along the back and removing the black stringy yucky stuff ?

In answer to your 3 questions:

1) No.

2) No.

3) It's up to personal preference. Frankly, I've yet to come across a lobster with a "black stringy yucky stuff" - aka intestinal string - that was visible enough to be worth removing.
 

FrankZ

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Someone else put that statement forward. Why should I look it up, as I believe, unless it is some religious stigma, it is incorrect.;) Besides, I don't consider wikipedia a reliable source.

Craig


Since Charlie mentioned "Some more religious people" I think it was indicative of a religious prohibition.
 

LPBeier

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Someone else put that statement forward. Why should I look it up, as I believe, unless it is some religious stigma, it is incorrect.;) Besides, I don't consider wikipedia a reliable source.

Craig

Craig, the Princess was suggesting a GOOGLE search and listed ONE option, which was Wikipedia. You are within your rights to not accept either suggestion. :)
 

jennyema

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Charlie is quite clearly talking about a religious prohibition about cooking live animals. If you want more information, it's easy enough to look up.

Also people refrain fromcooking live animals for more than just religious reasons.
 

buckytom

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along the line of cooking animals, make sure that you have a large enough pot of rapidly boiling water so as to kill them quickly as they cook.

the water has to be at it's most rolling boil because, much like deep frying chicken, the temp will drop drastically once you put in the lobsters. the water should remain at a boil for the most part, or at least come back to a boil quickly and the lobsters will go to lobster heaven in just a few seconds.

i once made the mistake of trying to boil too many large lobsters in a pot that wasn't large enough. the water stopped boiling for a good few minutes, during which time the lobsters died slowly in the heating water.
 

GB

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I am with Frank on steaming. I can not tell a taste difference between boiled and steamed, but steamed takes much less water and also is less messy when eating because water does not come pouring out of the lobster as you crack it open.

Everything Breezy said is right on. There is so much good stuff to eat in a lobster. There is lots of meat people are just throwing away when they only eat the claws and tail.
 

buckytom

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i wonder if they die as quickly with steaming? no matter; i'll be eating the little buggers with melted butter dripping from my smilin' mug.

i also like to use a rolling pin or thick water glass (empty, of course :angel:) to roll the meat out of each of the little leglets.
 

FrankZ

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I don't know how quickly they die either way, and not to sound cold, I don't really care. I do know steam carries a high amount of thermal energy so maybe that helps.

I suppose if one is really worried about how long they take to die one can pith the lobster first.

I remember reading a recipe in one of the local type cookbooks for a crab dish. The instructions tell you to take a whole live crab and quarter it. I thought that might be a bit rude.
 

CWS4322

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I went to graduate school in New Brunswick. We'd steam ours. And 2-3 per person <g>. The "peanut butter" (that is what we called the liver) was a favorite part of a lobster boil. You definitely needed a BIG pot. I used to travel to Boston a lot and I'd always stop at the fish market on my way to Logan to pick up lobsters...one year, I sent lobster dinner to my dad via same day delivery post--he loved it. One of my earliest memories is my uncle bringing live lobsters for dinner and being chased around the kitchen floor by them...I was so tempted by buy live lobster last week--but it was not in our budget, not in the quanity I like to eat them. A local casino used to have "all you can eat" lobster night...friends and I were banned after we each ate 6 whole lobsters (they should've known we were serious about taking the restauraunt up on the "all you can eat" advertisment--we brought our own crackers and picks). I love lobster...
 

LPBeier

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I've always steamed my crabs and lobsters. I am the softest hearted person I know when it comes to hurting anything. I even apologize to bugs before I squash them! But I guess because it is how I was taught to deal with them, I have not really worried about the crustaceans. I do believe that the steam is hot enough to kill them right off.
 

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