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Frozen lobster tails: meat sticks to shell

j
justicenow May 12, 2012 02:18 PM

I have bought newly available frozen cold water lobster tails five times in the in the last 2 months.
They are about 4oz each and probably come from Canada because Maine caught lobsters have bigger tails. I have tried steaming and boiling them. The meat sticks to the shell quite stubbornly.
I tried steaming with some butter in the water, cooking them while still frozen solid and also fully defrosted. Getting live lobster is a once or twice a year event for us, being over 3000 miles west of Maine. Having a convenient and inexpensive option is great. How do I keep the meat from sticking?

  1. todao May 12, 2012 05:14 PM

    Whole Lobster is often frozen live and it is common for the meat to bond tightly to the shell.
    Cracking the shell thoroughly and using a grapefruit knife to remove the meat works fairly well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: todao
      f
      fourunder May 12, 2012 09:33 PM

      I would agree....the following links should help you in the future.

      http://www.lobsterfrommaine.com/cooking.aspx

      http://www.lobsterhelp.com/

      1. re: fourunder
        j
        justicenow May 13, 2012 09:43 AM

        I did not know that lobsters are routinely frozen whole. I thought the eleventh commandment was "Lobsters must be cooked live".
        Thanks for the answers and links.

        1. re: justicenow
          f
          fourunder May 13, 2012 11:50 PM

          Fortunately for me, I live in an area where Maine Lobster goes on sale regularly...so fresh live lobster is not a problem. In the future, I would suggest if purchasing frozen Maine Lobster, purchase ones that have already been cooked and not frozen live. Cooked lobster will be red in color, as opposed to the brownish green lobster that has not been cooked. My experience is lobster frozen live....the meat/flesh dries out and shrinks while sticking to the shells as well....and ultimately, not a very good product.

        2. re: fourunder
          meatn3 May 13, 2012 10:28 AM

          I've used the method of cutting the shell prior to cooking which is shown on lobsterhelp.com and it worked very well. I also really like the seasoned butter recipe, although I use minced fresh garlic rather than garlic powder.

      2. EricMM May 13, 2012 09:45 AM

        "cold water" lobster tails usually come from the southern hemisphere. Canadian lobster tails might actually be bigger than Maine tails, because Maine caps the size of lobsters to be harvested. My guess is that these are southern lobsters...are they very flat? Could be slipper lobsters...I've tried them and had the sticking issue.

        1. j
          justicenow May 14, 2012 10:46 AM

          I lived in New England for the first quarter century of my life. I have been cooking lobster for more than 4 decades. Yes, Maine and Massachusetts now require that large lobsters be returned to make more baby lobsters. The Canadian smaller tail comment is because Canadian lobster people are allowed to keep lobsters that are about one pound or a little less. The New England states have a size requirement that results in lobsters of about 1 1/8 pound being the minimum.
          Canada has invested in live lobster and cooked lobster processing that has firmed up prices there.
          Linda Bean, of LL Bean fame, has been investing a lot of money in doing the same in Maine.
          Maine lobster people have lived with strict regulations that have proved to be very smart indeed. Unfortunately, the harvest is way up at a time when the recession has forced prices way too low. Smart processing and economic shipping are the answer to getting at the dock prices back up to $6 a pound.
          I will look for pre-cooked whole lobster or tails.

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