Traditional lobster recipe, how to cook lobster & lobster reviews

Lobster is undoubtedly one of the finest culinary experiences a seafood gourmet could have.  Many people will have only eaten lobster dishes in a restaurant so the thought of cooking lobster recipes at home can be challenging. This is our one-stop guide to types of lobster, lobster recipes, how to eat lobster, lobster dishes and how to cook lobster.

The three main lobster species we sell are:

  • British lobster (Homarus gammarus) – also commonly known in the UK as a ‘native lobster’. British lobsters are in season throughout the summer months and are landed nationwide. I was told today by an experienced lobster fisherman that the best time to catch lobsters is during the Wimbledon fortnight, after that, they crawl back to where they came from. We buy most of our native lobsters from Cornish or Scottish seafood merchants between June – September. You can buy native lobster outside of the summer months, but be prepared to pay huge prices for the luxury.

  • American lobster / Maine lobster – (Homarus americanus) – Maine in the USA has an international reputation for their lobster export industryTheir export quality of lobster is high and thankfully they maintain a steady supply. This secondary supply of lobster feeds the demand when we are supplying you out of the UK season.

  • Rock Lobster’ or ‘Caribbean spiny lobster’ – (Palinuridae) – we buy our rock lobsters from the Caribbean, our most recent batch were a fine box from the Bahamas. Generally, we sell rock lobster tails, it’s much more efficient than sending out a whole lobster and most rock lobster recipes are lobster tail recipes. A rock lobster does not have claws like American or British lobsters, so the main prize is in the tail. In the southern hemisphere, they sometimes refer to them as ‘crayfish’, in the northern hemisphere, crayfish is the term used for the little hand sized freshwater crustaceans.

How to cook lobster

Methods can vary significantly depending on the lobster dish you are trying to create. Whilst we do not sell live lobster, we thought it would be useful to equip you with the knowledge of how to kill, cook and then prepare a lobster.

Dispatching a live lobster

  • Using a sharp knife, push the tip through the lobster’s body shell about 2cm back from the eyes. Once the tip of the blade is touching the board, roll the force of the knife down towards the board so that the sharp edge splits the shell between the lobster’s eyes. This will kill the lobster immediately.

Cooking a raw lobster

  • Bring a deep wide pot of water to the boil. Place your lobster in the boiling water and place a lid on the pot. A 500g lobster will take approximately 5 minutes to cook in boiling water. Use this equation to calculate how long to boil your lobster for.

Preparing a cooked lobster

  • Remove the claws from the lobster’s body: Twist the lobster claws and knuckle joint to remove them from the body.
  • Split the tail and body: Twist the tail and body in opposite directions. You may need to rinse the top of the tail meat to get rid of any unwanted gut that remains on the white meat.
  • Accessing the meat: Split the lobster tail in half down the centre of the back to expose two pearly white sides of lobster meat. We advise using a lobster pick to access the sweet meat in the knuckle. Unfortunately, getting the meat cleanly out of the cooked lobster claw is the most difficult exercise. Start by removing the small moving lower pincer by bending it backwards. Then using the back of a heavy knife tap the centre of the lobster claw firmly on the shell until it cracks in a horizontal line across the shell. The cracked part of the shell should now be easy to remove and expose half of the cooked claw meat. Gently pull the claw from within the shell. Once the meat is extracted, feel for the cartilage disc in the middle of the claw and work it out with some kitchen pliers.

Jamie Oliver’s handy video on prepping a cooked lobster

The Fish Society’s customer lobster reviews:

  • Mrs Patricia Doble: “For a special supper with favourite herbs or sauce these are top class value, we like them buttery whilst my daughter spikes them with chilli”
  • Mrs Miranda Worsley: “I ordered lobster for new year’s eve and it was delicious, i would certainly use the fish society again”
  • Mrs Julie Bell: “Excellent Lobster Tails, Prompt Delivery, Good Customer Service.”
  • Mike: “The lobster was perfect thanks. Lobster rolls with laverbread butter were praised by all. Just what was needed for a birthday treat. Mike”
  • Mrs Karen LaCoursiere: “We ordered from the Fish Society for the first time for a New Years Eve Dinner. We ordered Lobster, Crab and Scrimp. Our guests keep commenting on how wonderful everything tasted. We were very impressed with the quality and taste and will definitely order again.”

Lobster thermidor recipe

Ingredients

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

75g/3ozs grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon English mustard

2 tbsps finely chopped parsley or tarragon

100ml/3flozs double cream

a little cayenne pepper

50g/2oz butter

1 glass of white wine, sherry or cognac

salt and pepper

Method

1. Cut the cooked lobster in half length ways. Remove legs and clean underbelly, leaving torso plus head. Cut each tail lengthways. Remove meat and cut into one inch chunks.

2. Crack open claws and remove the meat. Best way: strike them with the bottom end of the blade of a heavy knife, almost as if hammering (not quite as hard).

3. Now deal with the rock lobster tails: these need to be cooked. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the tails. When the water returns to a rapid boil, turn down a little. Remove after 10 minutes. Leave to cool then treat like the red lobster tails.

4. Melt butter in a frying pan over a fairly high heat. Add shallots. Cook until soft. Add stock, and cream. Turn up heat and keep stirring until reduced by half. Now add the mustard, wine, parsley/tarragon and seasoning. Stir and blend.

5. Select four tail shells and lay them in a shallow grill-proof dish. Distribute the meat amongst them. Pour the sauce over the meat, scatter the cheese over and finish with the cayenne pepper. Finally, position your two reserved lobster heads at either end of the dish.

6. Place under a hot grill for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. It’s ready!

Lobster tail recipe – Jamie Oliver – Lobster burger

Jamie Oliver – “This is a cross between a burger and a BLT, and I believe everyone should have the pleasure of eating it at least once in their life. I know lobster is seen as elitist food, but in Britain we’re never that far from the shore, so you can get lobster from any decent fishmonger. I made mini burgers on the day, but have written this recipe for regular ones – the process is the same, so do whichever you prefer. I’m only using the tail meat, but feel free to use the claws, too. ”

Lobster linguine – Great British Chefs

This recipe is great to be made with lobster tail or lobster meat. They also use king prawns to increase to fish to pasta ratio. We would recommend using wild Madagascan prawn tails. Their flavour is simply unrivalled in the prawn world.

Go to Great British Chef’s to see the recipe

live British lobster
Some beautiful live natives arriving at Fish Palace
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Hottest fish: September

We are having a little bit of fun here at ‘Fish Palace’ predicting what we think the 5 hottest fish will be to fly out the door this month. It is essentially a guessing game but a range of factors come into play: the changing seasons, special offers, the availability of fish, trending recipes in the media and a whole load of other uncontrollable factors! So here we present our predictions for September and our reasoning behind the group

Cooked American Lobster:

North America is famous for its lobster and they export extensively around the world. On the back of this fact, the quality and the ‘buy 1 get one half price’ deal we are running for the month we put this in the front running position for hottest seller. *Cooked American Lobster*

Lobster Large & Small

Boned Kippers:

Traditional, smoked, convenient and loosely recognised as an Autumnal style of fish. We predict these boned kippers are going to be served upon crusty toast with poached eggs on Sunday mid-mornings up and down the UK during this month. *Boned Kippers*

Breakfast Boned Kippers L

King Prawns with Garlic Butter:

It’s fair to say that we ‘ain’t’ going to be throwing many more prawns on the ‘barbie’ this year. Never the less, king prawns are loved throughout all seasons and we predict that our customers will be looking for an alternate way to get their king prawn fix. What better way than to fry up some beautifully big peeled king prawns with some of our home made garlic butter? *King Prawns with Garlic Butter*

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Black Cod Ventresca:

The Black Cod’s elegant reputation precedes itself at any restaurant or dinner party and understandably the price tag usually matches it executive status. This month we have a meaningful special offer on the crafted ventresca cut that will bring the price tag back into the realm of reality. We predict our customers will jump on to this prestigious fish of the deep and attempt their own take on ‘Miso Black Cod’. *Black Cod Ventresca*

Ventresca-Portions

Whole Dover Sole:

It is dover sole season and we are reaping the rewards of lots of beautiful fish in all sizes. We are going to be filleting plenty of them this week which we predict will fly out the door as no one really enjoys filleting a sole themselves… *Whole Dover Sole*

Dover Sole

 

 

Dressed Lobster: the making of…

Marc our fish manager will easily dress 80 lobsters at a time, at high speed. He is super handy with a knife having spent his earlier career as a chef. I hope for some this will be an interesting video, especially for those who have been searching: how to dress a lobster? If there is another type of fish or shellfish you would like us to show you how to prepare let us know!

 

A guide to The Fish Society: where to go & what you’ll find

Feel free to click the image and visit us now! Alternatively, below are links to all the different sections of the site.

Talking to James last week (written in July), the sheer anticipation in his voice was impossible to ignore, and for good reason, I was to learn: the newly-fitted air-conditioning at The Fish Society headquarters was soon to be turned on, converting the “tin box” into somewhere that would no longer be boiling-hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. Good news when you spend all your time down there, unpacking fish or up in the office, answering customer queries! Of course, how good it would actually be remained to be seen…until suddenly James exclaimed “you are talking to me as the air-conditioning is turned on, it’s a momentous occasion!”. A momentous occasion indeed, and one marked by an enthusiasm in James’s voice that I had only ever before heard when discussing filleting fish (if there’s one thing The Fish Society knows about, it’s that).

After this, we got talking about what I’d write about this week, and suddenly an idea struck me: “How about a website review?” I said, to which James’s reply was: “Good idea, although you might not be able to fit everything in.” This gave me pause for thought. It quickly dawned on me how much there was to talk about. If you’ve been buying from The Fish Society for a while then you’ll be very aware of how much there is to look at!

So, it seemed I had set myself a rather large challenge…here I go with a brief overview which should help you navigate around the site (this is just a sample of what’s on offer — as well as this you’ll find 100 best fish recipes, which is totally free, and an FAQ section. Alongside this you’ll find a TV page where you can see the staff preparing fish, and a Wholesale section too).

1) First up there’s the Homepage, where you’re greeted by some great photos of the kind of fish on offer, as well as some buttons: MAIN FISH HALL, SPECIAL OFFERS, QUICKnEASY, DELIVERY and BLOG (you’re looking at it). Feel free to click the links to go straight to the site, or read on for a good idea of what you will find at those locations.

2) Click on the MAIN FISH HALL button and a drop-down menu will appear, asking you to select from price, name, eating experience or fish type. You can also search in the bar to the right (see image at top of this post), or search a-z/by name.

3) Now onto the SPECIAL OFFERS…where you’ll find some amazing discounted deals. We’re talking everything from smoked salmon to freshly cooked lobster! Now’s a great time to buy – what with as much as 30% off some fish – and as you scroll over the various deals, an explanation of the product comes up on the right, along with a photo. All this gives you a good idea of what’s available, without ever having to click away from the page.

4) Next up, we have the QUICKnEASY section, which has proved extremely popular (and is massive, I think you’ll agree!). If you just want a couple of items, and don’t need the food to arrive frozen, then this part of the site is where you need to be. Better still, there are no delivery charges unless you need your stuff to arrive on a Saturday.

5) Last up, we have the DELIVERY section, which is where you need to go to find out how to get your fish to arrive safely and timely. On this page is vital information concerning how to order from all the above categories. A must if you’ve opened an account with us, or are thinking of doing so in the near future.

Why Barra?

Winklepickers at the ready!

Today James gives me a blast on winkles. A shipment arrived overnight and new employee Jilly is cooking them in The Fish Soc’s kitchen.

I can sense his enthusiasm for his subject and his total commitment to quality. He tells me there are hundreds of winkle suppliers, but his come from a very obscure place – Barra – one of the most peripheral of all the British Isles.

That can’t be very convenient! But one look at a map and the reason is obvious: located way out into the Atlantic, these waters are one of the very few in the UK which are 100% free from pollution. (This is an official fact which James stumbled upon after spending hours poring over an official report from The Environment Agency).

The isle of Barra: If you want quality, be prepared to search for it!

So, winkles? A big seller? “You’d be surprised. Winkles bring on a bit of a cringe factor – like snails. And golly you have to work hard for every morsel – stabbing and carefully removing the meat with a revolving action – not fast, not convenient. But the taste is unique and seriously moreish. Winkle fans are very committed. We have one customer who orders three kilos almost every week. All genuine foodies should give winkles a try.”

It’s not all about Winkles, of course. It’s not like we’re obsessed or anything (OK, maybe just a bit). James is also excited about an Apple & Fennel Jelly With a Shot of Sambuca. He’s just received a sample from the UK’s champion marmalade producer (a little company like us – called Cranfields) who have told him it’s a winner with fish. It’s going to be sampled very shortly.

Will Beirut get their 120 Caviar spoons? How fast will the winkles sell out? Will the jelly get the thumbs up? Stand by.