Lobster: what is it? And how do you cook it?

Lobster is a delicious delicacy for anyone who likes exclusivity. There are countless ways to enjoy lobster. Think, for example, of a delicious lobster amuse-bouche, a shrimp cocktail with crayfish, lobster croquettes or a delicious bowl of warm lobster soup.

Make delicious lobster dishes to impress your guests! But what kind of animal is the lobster exactly? It is a fish? And more importantly, how do you cook it? Below we explain it to you.

Chapter 1

What kind of animal is lobster?

Lobsters, like crabs, belong to the crustaceans. Crabs and lobsters are both special animals about which a lot can be told. Like crabs, lobsters have a segmented body; divided into small units.

A lobster continues to grow throughout its life. However, a lobster’s skin does not grow with its armor: the body grows larger, but the armor remains the same. This will cause the lobster to molt.

There are two types of lobsters: lobster and crayfish. Lobsters are the most popular and can be found in both fresh and salt water. They can be divided into American and European lobsters.

Is lobster a fish?

Lobster is not officially a fish, but counts in the Wheel of Five as a weekly portion of (lean) fish. Like fish, it is generally rich in vitamin B12 and the minerals iodine, phosphorus and selenium. In addition, lobster is a source of vitamin B1.


Chapter 2

American and European lobsters

The largest lobster population can be found along the coasts of America and Canada. Since more than half of the world’s lobster supply is imported from Canada, the American lobster (Homarus americanus) is also known as Canadian lobster. This lobster has a black-brown color with an orange underside.

The European lobster (Homarus gammarus) has a slightly bluer color, and is therefore also known as the blue lobster. This is a rarer and therefore more expensive lobster.

The average lobster grows between 30 and 60 centimeters in size, which amounts to two to four kilograms. The Canadian lobster generally tends to grow slightly larger than the European lobster.

There are also various types of crayfish. You have the American crayfish, Turkish crayfish and marble crayfish. The only species that lives in the Netherlands is the European crayfish.

The Red American crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) is the best known and most popular American crayfish. This particular lobster has a beautiful, bright red color all over its body and pincers. There are also smaller species of American crayfish such as the striped American crayfish, the knotted American crayfish and the spotted American crayfish.

Chapter 3

What is the difference between lobster and crayfish?

The main difference between a lobster and a crayfish is that crayfish are much smaller. An average crayfish can grow to be about twelve to seventeen centimeters long, while the lobster can grow up to sixty centimeters.

Despite its small size, a crayfish looks a lot like a lobster; the anatomy of the little creature is almost the same. The taste and texture of both types are also similar.

Chapter 4

How does lobster taste?

With the taste of lobster, you kind of get two flavors in one. You experience the sweetness of lean meat but at the same time the crunch of the fibers of the tendons. The taste of lobster can be compared to that of a crab. However, the flavor is still different. The lobster has a slightly sweeter taste and is also slightly lighter compared to crab meat.

Chapter 5

Which wine pairs well with lobster?

Lobster can be paired best with wines from the Chardonnay grape. Champagnes also taste great with this, but a dry champagne, such as the Veuve Bonneval Brut Champagne. Of course, the taste depends on how you cook the lobster. A heavy and ripe Chardonnay goes best with the recipe “lobster thermidor”.

Chapter 6

How to cook lobster?

Lobster is almost always cooked first and then grilled, baked, fried or steamed.

In the oven

How to cook lobster:

  1. Bring a large pan of water to a boil
  2. Add plenty of salt: about a tablespoon of salt per liter of water
  3. If you want to kill the lobster first: on top of the lobster’s head are two ridges that together form a cross. Place the point of your large chef’s knife on top of it with the edge facing the front of the lobster. Push the tip in with a smooth motion and then forward. Now the lobster is dead. His legs and tail may still move a little, but these movements are convulsions. If you find this scary, you can also put the lobster in the freezer for fifteen minutes first, then you will anesthetize it.
  4. Remove the rubber bands from the claws and slide the lobster into the boiling water.
  5. Now cook the lobster for 2-3 minutes if you are going to grill or fry it afterwards. If you want to eat it cooked, add a total of 1 minute per 100 grams.

Grilling on the barbecue

To bake or grill the lobster, follow these steps:

  1. Cut the lobster in half lengthwise, remove the stomach pouch and greenish lobster liver. Some people like to eat the latter. Let it cool.
  2. Brush it with olive oil or butter, sprinkle it with salt and some cayenne pepper to taste.
  3. Grill the lobster over hot coals until the meat begins to brown slightly. Do this for 1-2 minutes. Then turn it over with the shell side down, brush it with oil or butter again and let it heat through. Then you can serve this dish.

Chapter 7

How do you eat lobster?

To eat a lobster, you need lobster tongs to break the shell. In addition, a lobster skewer is required with which the meat can be removed from the shell. Use the pliers to break open the claws and body of the lobster lengthwise. With the pin you can remove the last bits of meat from the corners of the dish.

Fresh lobster that has just come out of boiled water can still be quite hot. Because the tail cools the fastest, it is recommended to start eating that first. Lastly, you eat the scissors. The meat in the scissors will stay warm the longest because of the shell. The edible parts of the lobster are the tail, legs and claws.

How many lobsters per person?

Per person, 500 grams can be served for a main course. Please note that this is the weight of the live lobster, so with scales.

Chapter 8

How many grams per person?

There is a debate about whether or not to boil the lobster alive. This is because some believe that lobsters do experience pain when they are cooked alive. Alternatives are recommended such as anesthesia or electrical stunning when killing the animals.

However, there are others who believe that lobsters should be cooked alive. This is because the rotting process in lobsters occurs quickly. So, if you want to eat lobster fresh, it is advisable to cook it alive.

Chapter 9

Recipe: Grilled lobster

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Grilled lobster

A simple and super tasty grilled lobster from the barbecue. With a marinade of lemon, garlic and olive oil.
Prep time15 minutes
Cooking time5 minutes
Servings: 4 persons
Author: Cultiviz


  • 4 lobsters 1 cooked lobster per person
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Make sure the lobsters are thawed and remove them from the packaging.
  • Tip: if you put the lobsters in cold water, they will thaw a lot faster.
  • Cut the lobsters in half with a sharp knife.
  • Squeeze 3 cloves of garlic into a bowl and add a good glug of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Brush the lobster halves with the marinade.
  • Prepare the barbecue for grilling with a temperature of 250 degrees.
  • Place both lobster halves on the grill and grill them on both sides for about 3 minutes. Do you have a fresh and thus uncooked lobster? Then you have to grill it for about 5 minutes per side.
  • Brush the lobsters on the flesh side again with the marinade and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
  • The lobsters are ready to eat!

Chapter 10

All recipes

Looking for more inspiration? Then see below more recipes with lobster. Or check our fish recipes for even more inspiration.

Lobster Bisque

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Grilled lobster

Always wanted to have a lobster party? This is your chance! We always get excited [...]