Lobsters may be synonymous with luxury in America today, but 200 years ago there were so many sea bugs crawling around on the ocean floor that it was considered cruel to overfeed them to your servants. But that hasn’t changed a basic truth about lobster: Most cooks screw it up. And it’s so simple not to.
By: David Chang
I’ve sent thousands of lobsters to Valhalla in my day, and I’ve found that baking or, better yet, grilling them over indirect heat yields tastier, more tender results. Undercook them slightly, like steaks, and let them rest when they come off the heat; there will be some carryover cooking.
Leave that three-pounder in the tank.
Buy lobsters that weigh 1.5 pounds or less. Bigger beasts are tougher and less sweet. Alive is great, but frozen will do—just make sure to defrost them before cooking.
Don’t serve lobster alone.
A 1.5-pound lobster will yield only four to six ounces of meat, so offer sides of corn, potatoes, maybe some sausages, and coleslaw. Forget clarified butter—just use melted unsalted butter. Add a touch of lemon or vinegar to the butter and have plenty of lemon wedges on hand.
Break the rules.
I always season my lobsters with Old Bay, which I know might sound like blasphemy to some, but if the fragrant spice blend makes crabs better, why wouldn’t it work with lobsters? Orthodoxy is for religion, not the kitchen.