Boiled Lobster

25 Jan

– Live, snapping, wriggling lobsters (1-2 pounders)
– Salted water
– Drawn butter, seasoned with garlic powder and basil
Your average run of the mill lobster.  This one's name is Frank.
Get out a big pot. I’m talking huge, the biggest you’ve got. Bigger than that, even. Fill it 3/4 full of cold, salted water. Bring to a rolling boil. Drop the live lobster into the boiling water (sometimes they “scream”, sometimes they don’t – this is *not* a task for the squeamish). Return water to a rolling boil. Boil lobsters for fifteen minutes. They will turn bright red. Wouldn’t you, if you were boiled alive? Serve with drawn butter.

For those of you who don’t know (and I can’t remember a time that I *didn’t* know how, being from Maine), here’s how you dig into a lobster (or you can go to Cape Porpoise Lobster’s website and look at their instructions under “Nutritional Info” – complete with diagram!):

  • Start with the two big claws. Grab them at the base of the claw, where they attach to the body. Remove with a twisting/pulling motion. Using those little pick thingies you use to remove the nutmeat out of a nut (heh – that sounded nasty, huh?), remove the meat from the claw and the joints. A nutcracker may be required for harder shelled lobster to remove the meat from the main part of the claw. Rest assured, this is the *best* part of the lobster.
  • Next is the tail. Grab the tail at the base where it attaches to the body. Using a back and forth/pulling motion, remove it from the body. (Ignore the ookey green gunk in the body at this time.) At the end of the tail, observe the flat shaped flippers (usually three or four) attached. Remove these, revealing a slot at the end of the shell perfect for fitting the end of a fork into. Fit the end of a fork into it, stabbing into the tail meat. Push the meat up through the tail shell out the large opening which was where the tail was attached to the body. Remove the center vein from the top of the tail meat – this can be accomplished by grabbing the straggly pieces of meat which probably have some of that ookey green gunk on it and pulling.
  • See the set of (usually) six little legs on the underside of the body? They’ve got eeny-weeny pieces of meat in ’em. Snap off the ends of the legs and suck the meat out. Usually more work than I prefer to bother with, myself.
  • There’s rib meat on the underside of the body shell, if you break the back open and remove the “guts” of the lobster. Again, usually more work than I bother with.
  • Now we get to the Tomalley. The ookey green stuff. This is the lobster’s liver. There’s other stuff in there, too, that’s pink, and white, and gooey, and gross. All this stuff is considered a delicacy by some crazy people. All I know is, my grandmother’s cat sure as hell used to love it. Blech.

The members of our family prefer to remove all the meat from the lobster, putting it to soak in the butter as we go along, and then eat it all at once. Oh, yes, buttery messy slobbery goodness.


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