Having lobster for dinner this week? Learn How to Butterfly a Lobster Tail with these tips below.
The lobster is both a simple and elegant crustacean. To butterfly, a lobster tail is quite simple, and you should try it at home. The thought of a butterflied lobster tail can bring back memories of an expensive celebration complete with melted butter, baked potato, champagne, and a rich dessert.
Lobster can also take you back to your childhood, or even an adult vacation, at the sea where you munched on lobster rolls at lunch with crunchy potato chips, a crisp pickle, and a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade.
The lobster is an arthropod, which I am sorry to say, is a relative of the insect family. Their skeleton is called an exoskeleton because it is protecting them on the outside from the sea’s world. They can crawl, swim and attack. Saltwater lobsters are the largest crustaceans in the sea.
The tail, body, and claws of the lobster are edible and most often served simply with butter and lemon. The largest lobster caught to date weighed in at 40 pounds. You are going to need a lot of butter for that one!
The white tail meat of the lobster is considered to be the best part. The meat tastes sweeter than the claws. The claws, on the other hand, possess a richer flavor than the tail. The meat from the lobster’s body tastes similar to that of the tail, but you have to work more for the meat in the body. So if you order a whole lobster and are really hungry, make sure you start off with an appetizer.
Not many people buy or order an entire lobster when they go to the fishmonger or out to dinner. Most oftentimes, the lobster is offered in the form of the tail. To create the elegant effect of a butterflied lobster tail, you need to start, of course, with the lobster tail itself and a good pair of kitchen shears.
You can start with frozen or fresh tails. If the lobster tails are frozen, place them in the refrigerator overnight and make sure they are covered with cling wrap on the plate you use.
How to Butterfly a Lobster Tail
Once the tails are ready, it’s very fast and easy from here. Place the lobster on your cutting board for seafood. The tail should be with the bottom of the tail facing down. Take your kitchen shears and gently cut the shell in half, beginning your cut at the top of the tail’s shell and cutting to the tip of the tail.
Be careful to cut only the shell, not the lobster meat. Slowly pull both sides of the shell away from the lobster meat. Pretend that you are taking off the lobster’s jacket. It’s a fairly slow process because you want to pull the shell away from the meat without taking any meat with the shell.
Once the meat is free of the shell, squeeze that part of the shell together a bit and lay the meat on top of the shell.
It’s like you are giving it a boost. It should look like it did when you started with the top of the shell still facing up, but now the meat is going to be on top of that. Cut a small slit down the middle of the meat from top to bottom. Grab the meat and pull it over the shell.
Imagine you are putting a sweater on now instead of the coat. This is the actual butterfly process. Marinade the lobster tail with butter, lemon, and pepper, or whatever you prefer. Broil time will depend upon how much your tail weighs. It’s also nice to pour a little more marinade over the tails about halfway through broiling, so they don’t dry out. Serve with a lemon wedge and melted butter. Enjoy!
Broiling Times for Lobster Tails
2 oz. 12 minutes 4 oz. 18 minutes 6 oz. 22 minutes 8 oz. 26 minutes 12 oz. 30 minutes 14 oz. + 35 minutes