No more “lobster-cide”; I can’t kill lobsters anymore. Being a chef, and an instructor who used to be able to teach such things to poor unsuspecting students, this isn’t something you’d admit out loud.
I was reading Domestic Diva MD‘s post on having to cut up a chicken and kind of understood what she was crying about. I can butcher chicken and birds quite well, it doesn’t bother me at all.
Suppose that is because they are dead when they arrive on my cutting board.
Lobsters, on the other hand, come in live and kicking and probably pretty frustrated by having their claws banded shut. (thank goodness!) or OUCH! pegged shut. ( The would probably be more angry than frustrated.)
They flicker their feelers at you, roll their odd eyes and foam at the mouth for desire to be back in the water.
They try to walk around so you have to watch them or put them where they can’t get away.They often pack fresh seaweed with them so they have something familiar on their death ride besides a waxed box with ice. That is most likely not the reason, but it is my guess for now.
In order to kill them correctly, you need to rub them between the eyes to calm them down and ‘put them to sleep’ before plunging a 12″ razor-sharp knife into their brains.
“Kills them instantly.” says Eric Ripert
Has he ever been a lobster? How does he know?
I can’t do that anymore. I am bothered by being able to do it in the first place. Once they are dead, no problem, just can’t kill them.
The last time I had to kill lobsters was for a dinner party I was doing for a friend in Atlanta. 14 lobsters for the appetizer.
14 live and kicking lobsters. I could hear them scratching around inside the box, slightly muffled by the seaweed packed in the box with them.
I placed them in the kitchen sink. I got creeped out by so many large weird leggy things scrambling around in the sink, I had to put some of them back in the box.
Then the killing started.
Rubbing the space between the eyes, they calm down. Ready, Aim, Plunge and split the thing in two.
OH! How it writhes and wiggles after!
After forcing myself to do all 14, I was a total basket case. Crying, kneeling down begging forgiveness for taking their lives, who was I after all to decide it was their time to die?
It was quite a horrible struggle emotionally and morally. I won’t kill lobsters anymore.
Not that way. If necessary, I’ll put them into a perforated hotel pan and pop them into a fully active steamer and slam the door shut for 8 minutes.
When I return, voila! Lobster meat. The shells have turned red and there lies the perfect ready to eat lobster, after you rip off its tail and claws.
(I worry about the students who ‘get a kick’ out of learning this. Glad they only get 1 lobster)
Melt some butter and Bon Apetit!
- See The Largest Lobster Ever Caught In Maine! (now100fm.radio.com)