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Brining Lobsters??

MGZ Jan 7, 2011 12:31 PM

I've cooked (and eaten) many, many lobsters, but I've never heard of doing this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aki-kam...

Anyone ever try it??

  1. a
    AdamD Jan 11, 2011 01:12 PM

    I dont know about this technique. I might try a side by side. But I dont like the idea of cooking a lobster a day after its been sacrificed for the pot. I do soak my shrimp, clams and scallops in salt water, but that is primarily to get more flavor and to get the clams to expel any sand.

    Lobster tastes darn good when steamed live. Not sure it needs the extra salt.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AdamD
      alanbarnes Jan 11, 2011 01:48 PM

      The brine in the recipe is only 3% salt. Since the bugs live in seawater that's about 3.5%, I'm not sure how much salt it would actually add to the meat. What brining apparently does accomplish for lobsters is the same thing it does for cutiepie's and Keller's scallops: it denatures surface proteins, eliminating any white goo.

      Still and all, too fussy for me...

      1. re: alanbarnes
        Veggo Jan 11, 2011 02:18 PM

        My reply above was a little closed-minded and ignorant. I would certainly try it if it were served to me at a black tie charity function where I was filling in an extra seat at a table and at no expense to me, but I wouldn't go down that road at home.

    2. c
      cutipie721 Jan 11, 2011 01:07 PM

      Thomas Keller certainly brines his scallops (Ad hoc). The goal is not to make it more tasty or fix the texture, but to draw out the stuff that seeps out and coagulates into a white mess during cooking. I brine my scallops now, but I won't brine my lobsters (I'm scared of chopping them up alive).

      1. letsindulge Jan 9, 2011 10:57 AM

        Sounds sacrilegious! Cook it right and enjoy it for what is is. MTCW!

        1. Veggo Jan 8, 2011 04:32 PM

          Theater of the absurd. Huffingtonpost plunges from low cred to none.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Veggo
            alanbarnes Jan 8, 2011 06:09 PM

            Never mind who published it, the authors are Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot. They're not total lightweights, food-wise. http://www.starchefs.com/cooking/?q=n...

            The idea is to remove the meat from the shell and allow the muscles to relax before cooking. Maybe the recipe is too fussy, and IMO it's probably overkill, but it does make some sense. I wouldn't write it off without trying it first.

            1. re: alanbarnes
              Veggo Jan 8, 2011 07:59 PM

              Call me simple. Lobsters aren't broke and they don't need to be fixed. Mine are prepared nicely tender, whether the spiny or Maine variety.
              "allowing the muscles to relax" with brine? and lose flavor in the process? Why? So we can suck 'em through a straw?

              1. re: alanbarnes
                meatn3 Jan 9, 2011 07:17 AM

                "Maybe the recipe is too fussy, and IMO it's probably overkill, but it does make some sense. I wouldn't write it off without trying it first."

                +1!

                Really, I just don't have lobster that often due to the cost. That in itself would keep me from experimenting to this extent. But I would order it out if I came across the preparation!

                1. re: meatn3
                  MGZ Jan 9, 2011 07:36 AM

                  Lobsters were at $2.99 a pound in the fall. At that price I would have tried anything. I suppose I'm destined to try this technique eventually, but the $8.99 price tag makes me feel a little less like experimenting.

                  1. re: MGZ
                    Veggo Jan 9, 2011 07:44 AM

                    It's all relative, I would grab a few @ $8.99. At the Publix markets in Florida they have been $14 /lb for 2 years, I have no idea why but I have learned to live without them.

                    1. re: Veggo
                      MGZ Jan 9, 2011 08:19 AM

                      "Live without them"??? Blasphemy. We probably eat 15-20 bugs each in a given year. The price fluctuations are seasonal and normal. Not too many guys on the water this time of year, but the holiday demand is pretty high. Thus prices go up. They'll come back down when more local boats start heading out in the late spring. Then they'll plummet in September/October and I'll be eating 'em two at a time again.

            2. s
              slopfrog Jan 7, 2011 04:37 PM

              I've never done it, but I do brine shrimp and fish sometimes. So I don't find it weird.

              2 Replies
              1. re: slopfrog
                MGZ Jan 8, 2011 03:26 AM

                Brining shrimp, especially the farm-raised, fresh water variety that seems to dominate the marketplace, seems like a fine idea. I'm not sure if I found the idea of brining lobster to be weird as much as I'm wondering if it's worth the time and effort. Do you rest shrimp overnight after brining?

                1. re: MGZ
                  s
                  slopfrog Jan 8, 2011 04:05 PM

                  Nope. I just cook them after I pat them dry. I've never tried resting them though, so they may get even better.

              2. DoobieWah Jan 7, 2011 12:48 PM

                Don't they live their entire lives in brine?

                1 Reply
                1. re: DoobieWah
                  MGZ Jan 7, 2011 12:56 PM

                  That was my first thought, too. The entire process is pretty fascinating though.

                2. n
                  Novelli Jan 7, 2011 12:34 PM

                  Well, I've done drunken lobsters before. Drop them in a tub full of rice wine until they become lathargic, then bust into 'em! Really sweetens them up.

                  But I'm not sure about the 'saline' solution. Don't know about that.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Novelli
                    c oliver Jan 8, 2011 07:01 PM

                    So you eat them live?

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