Today’s Tip: How To Clean A Lobster
Lobster, is a highly packed protein food, and has been known to have health benefits of reducing cardiovascular disease (in addition to other seafood). But the flavor of it’s meat and the texture are what have people lobster crazy. It is considered a luxury food in most places in the world. Depending on how you want to eat your lobster, there are certain ways to clean it. If you plan on boiling the lobster this method will probably not be required.
Ok, so you’ve bought a lobster, it’s got rubberbanded claws, it’s antennae are sticking out trying to reach you, and it’s beady little eyes are staring at you like ‘please don’t eat me’, but all you can think of is it’s delicious, tender flesh being devoured by you in a matter of seconds. Although patience is a virtue when it comes to eating your cooking masterpiece, sometimes being impatient (like when cooking/cleaning lobster) can make it an unpleasant dish. It is important to clean the lobster before cooking it.
In order to clean a lobster you need to kill the lobster beforehand so that it is easy to work with, and so that you are not torturing the lobster by pulling it apart to death. The most effective way to kill the lobster without pain, is to give a sharp blow with the point of a knife between it’s eyes. Although it kills the lobster instantly, you may see muscle spasms or movement from its reflexes for a few minutes. After that remove the rubber bands from the claws.
If you have a spare pair of latex gloves you probably want to use them. The first step to clean a lobster properly, requires you to remove the lobster’s tail. Firmly grab the body of the lobster in one hand, while slowly pulling the tail in your other hand and gently giving it a twist. Twist the tail in one direction a little less than 1 full turn, then rotate the tail in the other direction until you feel it disconnect from the lobster’s body.
(**Lobster’s blood is green, and once the tail is removed, can harden into a gelatine like substance, so as soon as the tail is removed you want to discard the liquid membrane. So you know what you’re looking for, the consistency will be of a gooey texture or sticky substance.) The black vein inside the tail is the actual digestive system – the intestines, you probably want to remove that before cooking as well!
In order to effectively clean your lobster before cooking it, you want to remove its digestive tract where waste exited in other words the lobster’s poop. Break off one of the lobster’s antennae, and fold it in half. Stick the wide end of the antenna about all the way up into the lobster’s anal cavity (at the bottom of the tail where the tail fans out). This may sound gross, but it is similar to deveining a shrimp. Once the antenna has been shoved through to the top of the tail, it will push our most of the digestive track. And then you can pull the antenna back towards the bottom of the tail to make sure there is no more waste. I recommend repeating this step 2 -3 times.
Make sure you not only keep rinsing the tail so that it is thoroughly cleansed, but keep cleaning the area you are working in so that harmful bacteria is not left behind to cause illness. Sanitation is one of the most important steps in cleaning a lobster before cooking it, you want to make sure that any harmful bacteria is removed. (Don’t use sponges that you plan to wash dishes and counter with, use a seperate one. Use a seperate cutting board. Throw away any dishcloths or papertowels etc.)
According to seafood catchers and experts once a lobster is cleaned thoroughly, it can be refridgerated or frozen for up to 72 hours. After that the meat goes bad. If you plan to immediately cook the lobster, remove the 2nd antenna. And of course don’t forget to crack open the claws for other lobster meat. Good Luck & Enjoy