While wandering around the market we often get to see live lobsters, shining in their glass boxes, with that external hard, red shell. They always seem tempting to the fish lovers for their extremely tender and delicate meat. The idea of savoring lobster meat is absolutely mouth-watering. There are some basic ways of cooking it - boiling, steaming, and grilling. Let's concentrate on steaming it to make its taste richer. There is one rule to avoid when you steam a lobster and that is - overcooking, as it reduces the deliciousness of its tender flesh.
There are two types of lobster pots. The one in which a lobster is trapped from the sea, is a cage-like structure known as a lobster pot. But while steaming the lobster, we need an instrument that is made of granite or even stainless steel. It has a steaming rack inside and a very tight lid. The steaming rack is porous at its base while the outer pot contains water in it. When the water boils in the pot, you put the lobster in it. The lobster pot avoids direct heat and helps to cook the lobster on the steam itself.
To steam a single lobster with an approximate weight of 1-1.25 pounds, you must fill the lobster pot with three to four inches of water. After that, put 2-3 tablespoons of salt in it. You can even use sea water. Bring the water to boil and put the lobster in the steaming rack. Then, add spices like two to three bay leaves, some pepper, and lemon juice to it. These are basic spices to add a bit of flavor to the meat. You can put other vegetables like onion, celery, etc, if you wish.
The key skill in steaming the lobster is to manage the time. As said earlier, the lobster should be strictly cooked within the estimated time. Overcooking will ruin the softness as well as the taste of the meat. All you need to have, is a timer. A hard shell lobster of approximately 1-1.25 pounds takes basic 12 minutes to get steamed perfectly, on a medium flame. And if you have more than one pound of meat to steam, then add 3 minutes for each pound to the total steaming time. Remember, the soft shell lobster takes less time. A small shell lobster of 2 pounds will take about three minutes less than the hard shelled one.
The frozen lobster is the best option. You can bring it and save it, until you actually want to use it. They are less expensive than the live ones. But the biggest advantage to prepare a frozen lobster is that they are already prepared. The fresh lobster will always taste better, but those who always feel queasy when cooking it alive, the best option is a frozen lobster. To steam, they must first be brought to the normal room temperature. After thawing, you can steam it in a timely manner. The required time will be same as steaming a live lobster.
Steaming the lobster tail and then preparing it the way you want is an easy job. You can take either the live or a freshly thawed lobster tail for it. It becomes essential to take the meat out of the shell as the meat curls inside the shell. The time required is same as steaming the whole lobster. Half way through the steaming, take the lid off and rearrange the lobster to get it steamed evenly.
The Grand Finale
There is an easy way to identify whether the lobster is steamed. When it is steamed perfectly, the shell will turn to bright red color and the meat will turn white. If the shell is not bright red and the meat is still translucent, then you will need to steam it a little longer. Even if you stop cooking, it will keep cooking outside the lobster pot. To avoid this, just put the steamed lobsters into a bowl of cold water or ice and then start cracking it. The most important thing to remember is to be careful while opening the lid as it will still be very hot.
You can add a hint of beer while steaming, for more rich flavor. Sea salt or sea water will also enhance the taste of the lobster. Now, that you are all done with the steaming, you can prepare numerous dishes or even serve it just like that, with melted butter.