Fresh Florida lobster is in season and available in local seafood markets. If you’re lucky enough to “catch your own” from a trip to the Florida Keys, consider yourself fortunate. If you’re saving that experience for another time, you can still enjoy the delectable treat by cooking at home and following some simple directions.
Your Florida Lobster
Most seafood shops will clean the lobster at your request. If you have a whole (uncleaned) lobster, follow these directions. If you have purchased a cleaned tail, skip to the recipe below.
- The first step is to separate the tail from the body. Place the whole lobster on a flat surface, and carefully twist the tail off the carapace (or body) of the lobster.
Clean the Lobster & the Sand Vein (whether on a boat or in your kitchen)
- There is a part of the lobster called the “sand vein” and it requires removal. Break a spiny antenna (1/8 inch in diameter) tip from the lobster. Take the thick part of the broken tip and insert into the vent (for the sand vein) at the base of the tail about ¾ of an inch. Twist it a half turn and pull the vein out. The vein at the base of the tail should come attached to the antenna.
- Discard everything but the lobster tail.
- Refrigerate the lobster tail if not planning to prepare immediately.
Cutting the Lobster
- On a cutting board, take a large, heavy knife, and place the lobster tail, shell side up, with the bottom of tail towards you. Place knife in middle of the shell and using the heel of your hand on the handle, push the knife to slice the shell (not through to the meat), breaking open the lobster.
- Open the shell by pulling back the sides to expose the meat. Clean and rinse the tail.
Cooking the Lobster
- There are many ways to cook lobster. Some of the more popular ways are baking, broiling, barbequing and even boiling. We chose to broil our lobster using the following recipe:
Lemon Butter Recipe
(Recipe for 4 Florida lobster tails)
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
1 tsp. of Old Bay Seasoning
- Place ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes to melt butter. Stir occasionally.
- Place lobsters on a flat cooking sheet, meat side up. Brush the lobster tails with butter
- Broil on high heat, 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes (or until the meat is no longer translucent)
- When the lobster tails are cooked, brush again with remaining sauce