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Vodka-Steamed Lobsters with Tomato-Thyme Butter Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2

Steaming the lobsters with vodka, sugar, and salt gives the meat a subtle sweetness. The flavorful cooking liquid then becomes the base for a buttery dipping sauce.

Video Watch a step-by-step video to learn how to kill lobsters humanely.


  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 whole live lobsters (1-3/4 lb. each)
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (3 Tbs.)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • Big pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 500
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 190
  • Fat (g): 22
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 185
  • Sodium (mg): 740
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 46


  • In a tall stockpot, bring 5 cups water, the vodka, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, kill the lobsters.

    Add the lobsters to the pot and steam, covered, until they’re bright red and a small leg easily pulls away from the body, about 10 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

    Discard all but 2 cups of the lobster cooking liquid. Vigorously boil the remaining liquid in the stockpot, skimming off any foam, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 9 minutes.

    Heat the oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, thyme, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it darkens slightly, about 1 minute. Add the reduced cooking liquid, increase the heat to medium, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter, 1 Tbs. at a time, until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Serve the lobsters with the dipping sauce on the side.

Start the meal with Green Salad with Prosciutto, Avocado, and Pears, and finish it with a quick version of a classic French pudding: Bittersweet Chocolate Pots de Crème.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • lisabattles | 02/15/2011

    Amazingly easy and delicious! The sauce that goes with it was delish.

  • jcgibbs6 | 02/13/2011

    THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!!! The Tomato sauce was addictive, and it makes me think that i need to make Lobster more often for dinner! Really quick and easy to make, and just turned out great!!!

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