Lobster is an all-time favorite seafood with most people, and many dishes using lobsters require that the flesh be removed from the shell. Here are some handy tips when you prepare a lobster dish at home.
A preliminary way to prepare a lobster, which should be alive, is to grasp it firmly by the back, plunge it quickly, head first, into a kettle of rapidly boiling water, and then submerge the rest of the body. Be sure to have a sufficient amount of water to cover the lobster completely. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes; then lower the flame or remove to a cooler part of the stove and cook slowly for 1/2 hour. Remove from the water and allow to cool.
After being prepared in this way, a lobster may be served cold or it may be used in the preparation of various made dishes. If it is to be used without further preparation, it is often served from the shell, which is usually split open. Mayonnaise or some other sauce is generally served with lobster. The flesh is removed from the shell with a small fork as it is eaten.
To remove the lobster from the shell, first, pull off the two large claws and the four pairs of small claws, and break the tail from the body. Then using scissors, cut a single slit the entire length of the shell covering the under part of the tail and remove the flesh inside the tail in a whole, large piece. The intestinal tract, which can be readily observed, will be found embedded in this piece and running the entire length. Slash the flesh and remove it. Next remove the flesh of the body from the shell, retaining only that part that appears to be fibrous, like the flesh of the tail. The stomach, should not be removed from the shell. However, care should be taken to obtain all the flesh surrounding the bones in the bony part of the lobster. The coral substance, that is, the roe of the lobster, should also be removed, as it can be used for a garnish.
With the flesh removed from the shell, proceed to take out the flesh in the claws. Break open the large claws, using a nutcracker or a small hammer for this purpose, and remove the flesh that they contain. If the small claws are to be used for a garnish, as is often done, remove the flesh without breaking them; otherwise, break them as in the case of the large ones.