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So are you ready to grab one up and cook your own? To steam it,
you only need an inch or two of salted water at a rolling boil in the bottom of
a big kettle. Put in your live lobsters one at a time, head first — and,
no, they don’t scream. If you hear anything, it’s steam escaping from the
My fishmonger recommends cooking a two-pounder for eight
minutes on one side; flip it over and cook it for five more minutes on the
other, then turn off the heat and let it sit five minutes.
Alternatively, you can boil them, allowing about 2 1/2 quarts
of boiling water salted like the sea. Dunk in the live lobster, bring it back
up to a boil, then cover and simmer it for about 10 minutes a pound. It’s done
when you can easily pull out the antennae.
If you only eat the tail and claw meat, no worries. You can
gather up the rest to make a lovely lobster bisque with cream, sherry and
butter. Depending on what you’re channelling right now, it will take you right
back to either the East Coast or the 1960s, but then maybe they’re one in the
TO EAT OR TO KEEP?
True lobsters are found in all the world’s seas except polar ones. Because lobsters kill each other in close proximity, they aren’t the greatest candidates for aquaculture, but we were promised that the Nova Scotian lobster fishery is sustainable.
SeaChoice rates the Atlantic lobster fishery as “yellow”, that is, as having some concerns for sustainability.
Although the spiny lobster really isn’t a lobster, you can eat it with a clear conscience if it comes from Australia, the U.S. or Baja California.
Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who just
made her first lobster bisque, a taste of ambrosia.