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Getting to the Meat of the Lobster

Fine Cooking Issue 66
Photos: Scott Phillips
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Getting the meat out of cooked lobster might seem a little intimidating, but it’s really not very difficult. Just follow these steps. Once you’re done, discard the remnants or save them in the freezer for making stock.

The tail:

1. Twist the tail off of the body of the lobster.
2. Bend the tail fins upward until they snap off.
3. Use a finger or a chopstick to push the tail meat out of the shell.
4. Make a shallow incision down the center top of the tail to expose the intestinal tract. Flick out the tract with the knife tip, just like deveining a shrimp; discard.

The knuckles:

1. Separate the knuckles and claws from the body in one piece by twisting them off or cutting with shears. Separate the knuckles from the claws.
2. Crack open the knuckles with the back of a chef’s knife, or cut them open with shears. Remove the nuggets of meat.

The claws:

1. Bend the small part of the claw up and down until it snaps.
2. Gently pull away this small shell, leaving the meat inside still attached to the big part of the claw.
3. With shears or the back of a chef’s knife, crack open the claw and remove the meat in one piece.
4. If you don’t see a wide fin of cartilage attached to the small shell (see #2), it’s still in the claw meat. Pull or cut it out.


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