There’re 2 different types of lobsters – Maine & Spiny. The Maine or Clawed lobsters contain more meat while Spiny lobsters, also called Rock lobsters, have no claws. Hence, almost all of the meat is in the tail & there’re about 45 different species of Spiny lobsters all over the world.
Method of preparation before cooking:
- It's gonna be a challenge if you haven't done it before. Putting the lobster in the freezer will do the trick if you’re afraid of being “slapped” by the lobster. Temporary freeze it for about 10 mins for easy handling. Do not leave it in the freeze for too long as meat will toughen & you do not want to kill it at this point.
- Use an oven glove to pick up a lobster, grab it by the back just above where the tail connects to the body. The shell on the underside of the tail has some sharp edges & may cut you if the lobster flips its tail. *Remember: The lobster is only temporarily immobilized, it’s still alive & may move anytime.
- Prepare by inserting chopsticks into the tail of the lobster to let “veins” (urinal thread) out.
- Clean thoroughly in cold water.
It’s highly recommended to cook your live lobsters on the day you receive them & never place lobsters in water to try to keep them alive. Boiling a lobster is probably the easiest way to cook a lobster but I prefer steaming as the meat is more tender, especially with larger lobsters. Steaming preserves the true flavour of the lobster because it does not penetrate the way water can. Besides, I don't have “gallons” of boiling water to waste & clean up after.
To prepare for this Steamed Lobster recipe, I’ve chosen to use Spiny Lobster - Bamboo species for My Lobster Affair. The Bamboo lobster (striped legs & tail that resemble that of a bamboo trunk) is good for steaming with its succulent meat.
Recipe: Mouth-watering Lobster Tail
1 fresh live Spiny lobster
1 small onion
3 stalks of celery
1 tbs salt
Mixed dried fruits for garnish
- Fill half the wok with water & add 1 tbs of salt. Cover the lid & put on high heat.
- Insert a chopstick down the length of the lobster tail. This will prevent them from curling up upon steaming.
- When water boils, add lobster. Place quartered onion & pieces of diced celery into the wok. The smaller you cut your pieces of celery, the more flavour they will release.
- Steam for about 10 - 15mins (depending on size) until shell turns bright red. When cooked, leave the lobster to cool. Keep the vegetable liquid for Lobster Bisque stock.
- Grab the thorax (head section) with one hand, the tail with the other & twist. The parts should separate easily. Using a sharp scissors, cut under shell of the tail section & pull out the flesh carefully. Reserve the shell for stock.
- Slice the meat into medallions & arrange neatly onto plate. Decorate with the lobster head & tip of tail & dribble Lobster Bisque sauce on the meat. Sprinkle mixed fruits on the plate & here’s your platter of mouth-watering lobster tail.