I recently tested a recipe for Lobster Tacos at the Munchies Test Kitchen. It was my FIRST time boiling a live lobster and I gotta be honest, it was…bittersweet. I felt bad for its death, but excited for the fresh af meat tossed with lemon, corn, and avocado, mmmMMM! Left with 2 hallowed claws, a shattered tail, and a whole head and torso, I asked Farideh what to do with the murder scene. “Chuck it or make something with it,” she said. I looked at the deceased lobster straight in the eyes and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you go to waist.”
After a quick search on the net, I chose to make Sam Sifton’s Lobster Butter from NYT Cooking—a fun new way to repurpose lobster shells beyond soup stock! Bright red crustacean shells simmer in a sea of butter that turns orange once stained. Add it to seafood dishes, roasted vegetables, or spread it on sandwich bread for a subtle rich ocean flavor. To go beyooond, add it to popcorn, pie crust…even biscuits!
Next time you find yourself with a mound of shells, pay homage to the big beautiful lobster with a buttery afterlife. Shrimp shells will work too if lobster is out of budget.
Origin: Munchies Test Kitchen
Nutrition: magnesium • omega-3 • phosphorous • vitamin B12 • vitamin E • zinc
Benefits: improves immune function • good for your bones
Ingredients: unsalted butter • lobster shells
Replaces: butter • flavored butters
Other Products: crab butter • shrimp butter • salmon butter
Make Your Own: Dry out the shells of 1 lobster in a 300F oven for 15-20 minutes. Once cooled, place the shells in a ziplock bag and crush into smaller pieces with a meat mallet. Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add lobster shells to the melted butter and gently simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain the melted butter into a small bowl of air-tight container. Cover and refrigerate until set.
Storage: Use within a 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Taste & Texture: subtle lobster flavor
Suggested Uses: spread on bread or toast • add to seafood pasta dishes • brush on roast fish & veggies • use as a dip, melted • add to roux for soups and stews
Chilled Shrimp with Lobster Butter (via NYT Cooking)
Lobster Mac and Cheese (via Ina Garten)
Spaghetti with Lobster Pomodoro (via Bon Appetit)
I’m all about respecting the animal, and boiling a lobster alive (even for optimal flavor) rubs me the wrong way. BUT I’m always open to argument. There’s lots of research out there that claims boiling is the more humane method of killing a lobster. Read more about the how’s and why’s of killing lobsters via LobsterAnywhere.
What do you think about lobster butter?