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What to serve with lobster?

I always get stuck on this one, so I thought I'd ask my fellow chowhounds... Which side dishes compliment fresh, cooked lobster with butter? I'm open to anything, but I'm ultimately looking for less starchy dishes as my guests are low carbers. Thanks.

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  1. Cole Slaw and maybe some fresh Steamers...from a New Englander.. and maybe some corn on the cob

    1. Drat, Jimbo stole my coleslaw answer! Hee hee! You might also consider a broccoli salad. The corn is a natural with lobster but I believe it is quite high in carbs.

      1. melted butter, lemons, a fork and a nutcracker or some pliers

        4 Replies
          1. re: MeffaBabe

            Ditto. In New England, you might precede it with steamers. When I serve corn on the cob, I serve it as a separate course. That way it's hot and people aren't trying to wrestle with two hand-held foods at once, both of which get cold. Beer. Or, as ccbweb suggests, champagne. At this time of year, you can strawberry shortcake for dessert.

            1. re: janeer

              I also keep thinking about everyone's suggestions of corn - also a good one, even though it is high in carbs. I was thinking about going hog-wild and doing blinis with smoked salmon - possibly caviar and creme fraiche as apps (going to European grocery store Yummy Market on Dufferin for the first time to check out their Wall of Smoked Fish - yup, pretty excited). If anyone has any comments on the blini idea (yay or nay) would welcome them. Was thinking about doing the chocolate mousse suggestion for dessert, but love the strawberry shortcake idea. Decisions, decisions... Thanks all.

          2. Personally...champagne. And then chocolate mousse for dessert. Lobster is one of those things that I think stands alone so well. But, if you're trying to build a meal, I'd suggest corn on the cob just like Jim (although if they're doing a South Beach sort of diet, that won't work), or if you can find some really nice grean beans, perhaps a green bean and tomato salad.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ccbweb

              I agree that lobster stands alone well. I do like rice pilaf but it has lots of carbs. Salad as a first course is good. Coleslaw too.

            2. i know this sounds weird, but i'd serve nothing with it. no matter what I've served, fries, corn, slaw....no one takes but a few bites. i might serve some stuffies first though. or some chowda or steamers...... and then something with berries for dessert.

              1. The last time I did lobsters I made mushroom risotto. It was great but didn't really need to be there. The lobster were enough on their own. Also not carbwise so my suggestion of bread is also out.

                One thing you could consider is shrimp as an appetizer. Either a shrimp cocktail or just a big pile of peel and eat.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Davwud

                  I love this site - just referring back to this posting, as we're having lobster tonight and the agony of what to serve with them continues. Upon another review, my friends and I loved your suggestion and we're doing it tonight. Happy New Year!

                  1. Salad (or coleslaw) , corn on the cob, steamed new potatoes, steamed clams and sometimes sausages.

                    1. The New Englander in me says lots of napkins, lemon, claw crackers, and picks.

                      The Frenchie in me says a crisp, lightly dressed salad and fresh fruit for dessert.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Fleur

                        To my great regret I find it hard to eat a lot of lobster. I feel very full very fast. When I make it, I serve grilled asparagus or a nice green salad with a lemon/oil dressing.

                        1. re: Densible

                          Nice call - asparagus. Also would be nice served cold and eaten with fingers. I have a great sesame oil dressing that is lovely over cold asparagus.

                          1. re: Moimoi

                            Sesame mayonnaise dip is nice with cold asparagus as well.

                            1. re: Moimoi

                              asparagus season is finished here in new england but barely blanched green beans and cherry tomatoes make a nice low-carb side. some slivered almonds, salt/pepper and olive oil is all they need. it can be cold or warm.

                              dessert of chocolate mousse would be so far over the top, i'm uncomfortable thinking about it. berries and shortcake, if anybody has room.

                          1. Steamers first using a broth made w h2o, white wine , all your favorite herbs and a bay leaf-this will just wet your appetite for the main lobster dish-very simple. Oh get drunk first on white wine or similar-don't ruin the lobster w yucko sides-this way the meal will be memorable-make more than enuf lobsters so u have leftovers for a midnite lobster roll!!

                            1. Whatever you do, make sure there are plenty of plates and/or bowls! Lobsters get messy REAL quick of course, and the liquid inside the shells will quickly fill the plate and make everything else around it soggy and diluted. Just a personal pet peeve of mine ;-) Lobster gets it's own plate, everything else has another separate plate.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: HaagenDazs

                                My little trick to deter the broth from drowning the lobster meat in plates:

                                When the lobsters have almost finished cooking, put a colander in the sink and stand the lobsters on their heads in the colander for a few minutes. You can slit the shell between the eyes if you want - but I usually just let them drain before serving. Be advised that there may still be some liquid, but most does drain away..

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Here I am editing 7 months later.
                                  I still drain the lobsters but now I put the colander into a bowl then save and freeze the drained liquid. It can become an addition to a sauce or a broth or anything else you can think of.

                              2. because lobster is so mild in flavor, i like to eat it with a nice spicy green papaya salad...

                                1. Grilled veggies with EVOO salt and pepper to taste….and/or I’ve made broccoli and string beans with butter and fresh grated parmesan cheese and that was delicious well received.

                                  1. Citrus! The tang gets you ready to taste the sweetness of the lobster all fresh again.

                                    1. It's probably a little late to be chiming in on this but I wanted to say, it depends on what kind of meal you're planning. If you're going more low-key, I'd say corn and rolls. Don't cook the corn any longer than 3 minutes, and add some milk and sugar to the water (no salt). If you're planning the champagne version, I'd say risotto with white summer truffle shavings, and mocha creme caramel for dessert! Also, a tip from a New Englander, don't go for the big lobsters - the bigger they are, the tougher they are. Better to get two chicken lobsters than one 3 pounder.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: dmenard

                                        I tend to disagree with the size of the lobster - i've found that the larger lobsters only seem tougher b/c most people over cook them - they think big and cook for too long. Lobsters of any size taste great - i've found only that the temperature of the water where they were caught makes a difference in taste. The colder the water, the better the taste!

                                        1. re: heather2633

                                          agree about the water temp. had the best lobster of my entire life last year on campobello island.

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            Family Foods? Make sure to stop at the COOP on the way from the bridge to but beer!!!

                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                              YES! that place. and the price was dirt cheap. amazing.

                                      2. not a side, but tarragon is a faboo flavor with lobster.. think about putting some in the butter

                                          1. In a nice Enchilado, or with bread and a simple salad of avocado and tomato. Oh wait, you're talking about that boring new england creature.

                                            1. My family's tradition is boiled or steamed lobster with the usual melted lemon butter for dipping and a huge Caesar salad, using the great recipe from the old "Joy of Cooking." Nothing else.

                                              The lemon and salt in the Caesar is a nice balance to the richness of the lobster and butter, and the only carbs will be the croutons in the salad.

                                              1. I often take a large pot and boil little red potatoes whole, corn on cob cut into three's chunks of onion and a good cajan crab boil. Then add king crab, lobster and shrimp in my boil. Then put newspaper down drain pot pour on new spaper all my company always enjoys it. I usually serve grilled scallops, and ribeye with it as well and always have choice of beer or wine.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. Artichokes are nice - green to cut the lobster richness but still good buddies with melted butter.

                                                  1. Napkins. And blueberry pie for dessert. Wicked good Chummy!
                                                    Steamed clms are traditional and make for a one pot meal. Throw a few ears of corn on top too.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                      I don't "get" steamed clams, or clams of any kind. Every clam I have ever had should have been stamped with the name "Rubbermaid". They are always so chewy/inedible. Or maybe I should try making them myself just once?

                                                      Apart from munchies before, nothing should be served with lobster. I like to save my appetite for the lobster - fortunately I can eat lots of the stuff.

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        Steamed clams, the soft shell variety, not the quohog hard shell, is tender, sweet and very delicious. Possibly my favorite seafood. We ate 20 lbs last weekend.

                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                          Yes, it's really about the type of clam. Softshells steamed, yes, hard shells, for other uses.

                                                    2. I would keep it simple and serve a tossed salad, good bread or rolls and steamed asparagus.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        This is exactly what I would suggest, and have made a few weeks ago. I'd start with the asparagus, then the salad and then the lobster. If you're using butter for the lobster, I would suggest a little more acid (lemon or vinegar) in your salad.

                                                      2. just a heads-up for those chiming in recently that this thread is 3 years old. still a useful general discussion for anyone who wants to serve lobster going forward, just a bit belated for the OP's needs.

                                                        1. Less starch - maybe acorn squash or sweet potato. Corn on the cob. Succotash. A big, beautiful salad with all sorts of goodies in it.

                                                          1. Like a bunch said, Lobster is a meal in itself. I do a steam of lobster, some corn on cob, and small red potatoes. Old bay in the inch of water and thats all you need. Melt some butter and done. Cole slaw works well here also to offset the heat of the others during summer. The cooking time I've found that works best when steaming lobster is 13 minutes for first pound and 3 minutes for each additional pound. Not sure if that is common knowledge, but always works well for me.

                                                            1. Love this thread. I seem to pull it up every year. Based on your ideas I'm going to serve this lemony green & white bean and herb salad: Bean Salad with Lemon and Herbs