Lobster Week has been a lot of fun for us, not least because we got to eat so much lobster in the process. We've put together all of our eating and buying guides, along with a collection of recipes, in one easy-to-navigate post. Read on for everything you've ever wanted to know about lobster.
'lobster week' on Serious Eats
This week we've already discussed how to buy and store a lobster and tasted soft shell lobsters blind against hard shells (hint: we unanimously preferred soft shells). Now the real question: what's the best way to cook them? Boiling? Steaming? Roasting? And what about killing the sucker before you do it? Should they be boiled alive? Frozen to death? Bludgeoned with a rubber chicken? Let's take a look at all of those questions (except the chicken one, silly).
I have fond memories of visiting Chinese seafood restaurants in Boston as a kid. We'd pick out a lobster from the live tank, then the crustacean would get scuttled off into the kitchen to meet its maker. When the lobster finally re-emerged, it would come out chopped into large chunks, their surfaces crisp, lacy, and coated in a thin veneer of sauce. Tossed with slivers of ginger and sliced scallions, their primary aroma was sweet and spicy, the briny flavor of the lobsters coming through only once you started eating them. Here's how to make it at home.
I love me some cold mayo-based lobster salad, but I'll take this lighter, brighter, hotter, altogether-more-exciting version based on Thai flavors any day. Made with sweet, tender chunks of picked lobster meat, crisp blanched snap peas, cucumbers (salted to draw out some of their excess liquid and intensify their mild flavor), it gets off to a good start, but it's really the aromatics and condiments that set this dish apart.
Lobster Week continues with the tough questions: Are soft shell lobsters really better than hard shells? What's the actual cost of the meat you're paying for? What about labor costs? We have the answers.
In my earlier days as a real live line cook, I spent a good deal of time shucking oysters, frying clams, and steaming lobsters at Barbara Lynch's B&G Oysters in Boston's South End. On the charter menu: the B.L.T. with Lobster. It's a fantastic sandwich, perhaps one of the few lobster-and-bread concoctions I can think of to rival a classic lobster roll. Over the years it's become a staple in my summer sandwich repertoire. Enough so that I've managed to make a few tweaks in the process to edge it a bit closer to my own personal vision of perfection. A better method for cooking lobster, skinless tomato filets, a different variety of lettuce, homemade lemon-y mayonnaise, a unique bacon cooking technique to deliver more even coverage, bread toasted in bacon fat instead of butter and, well, avocado. Because avocado.