Learning how to eat a lobster is like learning how to read. It is not as hard as one might think, though. In fact, this very article can be used as a primer on how to eat a lobster. I will not promise that you will become proficient at this without practice, but I will guarantee that you will enjoy a delicious meal after you learn how to do it. Here is how to eat a lobster, step by step.
STEP ONE: Twist the claw off with one hand. If you like to have all of the meat removed from each claw at once, like many people do, twist the claws from side to side. It should come off easily with a bit of wrist action – no special tools required. If not, just hold the claws close together. If they come off rather easily using only one hand (or both), you might want to try using two hands to separate them.
STEP TWO: Take each half of the meat and push it into one or two holes in the side of a pot. Spread the meat out on the pot in the same way that you spread the cracker with the butter. Then use the other hand to crack the knuckles and the flesh of the legs. Remember to have fun! The idea is to have as much meat (and fat) on the cracker as possible so that it “crackles” when it is warmed up.
STEP THREE: Once the meat on the cracker is done boiling, you can serve the lobsters. Put them on a plate and garnish with salt and pepper. You can add cream if you wish. Or if you prefer you can refrigerate them until serving time. This will extend the freshness of the lobsters and make it easier for the executive chef to carve at the reception.
STEP FOUR: Now it is time to remove the claws from the legs of the lobster. Here is where things get tricky. You can take the claw right off the leg by hand but this takes quite some time. So if you are pressed for time, just use your sharp knife to remove the claw.
The third and final step is to remove the large claws (the ones on the sides of the legs) carefully. Use one or two fingers to pry the large claws loose from the body of the lobster. You can do this easily with your fingernails. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out right away. It will come out eventually.
The claws and knuckles are the heart and soul of a lobster. Remove them safely and set aside to cool. It is now time to remove the meat from the meatballs. There are many different methods for removing the meat from the meatballs.
Some people stick their fingers in the meat and pull it out with their teeth. Others use a fork. Still others use a pair of tongs. A lot of people like to poke fun at each other with their forks, poking and prodding the meat until the shell cracks open and reveals the beautiful meat inside. Whatever method you choose to pull the meat from the lobster, be sure to leave the shell intact – you don’t want to remove the most fragile part of the lobster when you are ready to eat it!
Remove the hard shell around the tail. On some lobsters, you will see a small white ball on the end of the tail called the pectoral fin. This is the tail fin and it is what you will use to remove the meat from the lobster. Here’s a trick that works every time: hold the pectoral fin between your thumb and forefinger and push the tip of the pectoral fin down slightly past the hole in the shell until it comes out the side of the shell.
When the meat comes out of the tail, hold it between your thumb and forefinger and use the other hand to hold onto the lobster claw in the same way you would hold a lobster. Tip the lobster over to one hand and its tail end up facing you. Hold the pectoral fin above the lobster and tip the other one towards your mouth. Tip the other half of the lobster towards your mouth. Now all you have to do is to bite into the meat and dip the claw into the butter.
If you don’t want to eat the claws, you can eat the meat itself. Lobsters are crustaceans, so just hold them in your mouth and let your tongue run along their bodies. You may have to roll the lobster’s body up to eat it. And now you know how to eat a lobster. Good luck!
Tina is a chef and runs her restaurant with her sister in Maine. They currently live in the house that used to be owned by their grandparents.