Preparing a Lobster Tail for Cooking

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How to manipulate the shell on lobster tail for cooking; learn this and more in this free online instructional cooking video about seafood taught by an expert.

Part of the Video Series: How to Cook Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp
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Video Transcript

Hi! I'm Louis Ortiz on behalf of Expert Village and today we are going to show you how to prepare a lobster tail. In another video, we will actually break down a whole lobster for you and show you how to do all that but for today's intents and purposes, sometimes you don't want to have to mess with breaking down a whole lobster and the extra meat that you get really just comes from the claws. So a whole lobster essentially is just for a center piece. What we are really getting out of it is the protein in the tails. You can buy the tails separately at a good seafood market. I've got a 4 ounce Main Lobster tail here and I am going to show you how we get that really nice kind of cauliflower appearance on the top that you see on a lot of restaurant menus and cookbooks and such. It is real easy to do. I've got some culinary shears here and what we are going to do is just simply cut down the center of the top of this lobster tail. We are going to go through this shell up to right about there; not all the way to the end because we will cut it completely in half which is what we are trying to avoid. So I just want to pull the shell with my thumbs gently left to right; that's okay if it starts to crack a little, that's fine too. From the underneath side I will just separate with my thumbs and my fingers the flesh from the shell. I'm not using a knife or anything like that. It is just kind what I want to do with my fingers, a little bit more gentle procedure. So as you can see you can actually see my thumbs through the skin there. We are just gently pulling this tail meat out from the shell. It's a little trickier toward the base. There we go. All right. So now we've got that separated and what we are going to do is lay that back across the top of the tail and we are going to clean up some of this. Already you see we are going to have this a nice flowered looking tail that sits on top of the lobster shell itself. So that's that. All I've got to season with is I am going to use basic mixture and what I am going to be using is a garlic salt along with some herbs. It's just a blend. I am just going to kind of sprinkle those across the flesh, not real heavy. Just get a nice even coating there. I've got some clarified butter that I will brush over the top of this guy. I am just using a saute pan. What is going to happen is we are just going to broil this in the oven and about mid-way through the cooking process we will open the door and re brush it with some clarified butter to keep this meat nice and moist. It is a very very short cooking time simply because seafood as a whole doesn't take that long to cook but also we are using broiling heat in the oven which is a very intense heat from the top which is quite high. So we want to keep an eye on this fellow. It is only going to take a few minutes but midway through we are going to brush him back down with some clarified butter. So before and after we will use the clarified butter and we will cook them all inclusive in this pan and we will come back and take a look at the finished product and the brushing of the butter; that is part of the procedure as well.

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