There’s nothing like lobster to impress, elevating a simple gathering to an impressive feast in one plate. Scared of cooking these clawed delicacies? Philip Brazil, Executive Chef at the 5-star Sheen Falls Lodge, promises there’s nothing to fear…
1. Choose well
Live lobsters aren’t pink like cooked ones but dark blue-green colour. Fresh lobster should be bought live, smell sea-fresh and curl its tail under its body when stretched. (Lobster freezes well too.)
2. In for the kill
The kindest way to dispatch a live lobster is to use a sturdy, sharp knife. Push the tip firmly and quickly through the centre of the cross on its head, making sure the blade is directed towards the tail.
3. Boiling point
Once killed, lobsters are usually boiled. A whole lobster (approx. 500g) should take about 4 minutes to cook. Allow 2 litres of water per 500g, boiling with a good pinch of salt and teaspoon of vinegar.
4. Grill seeker
Alternatively, grill your lobster on a hot grill or barbecue for 8–10 minutes. Once cooked, the shell will turn a vivid red and the juices that seep from the shell will start to coagulate.
5. Keep your cool
After cooking, leave to cool before pulling off the claws in order to crack them and remove the luscious white meat. Pull off the tail and peel as if it were a large prawn.
6. Finishing touches
The sweet, mild taste of succulent lobster flesh needs very little improving. Keep it simple: serve hot with melted butter or cold with lemon mayonnaise.
Featured image: lobster and mussels moqueca