The sustainability of our sea creatures is top of mind for many foodies. A lack of information and labelling means that we are often buying and eating species that are heavily over-fished. For example, the fish often used for fish and chips is Flake, which is actually wild shark, and long-living, slow growing species. Good fish and chip shops will list other options and it’s up to those of us who know, to spread the word. There is an excellent, free iPhone app available which identifies sustainable species in this country. Either search for Sustainable Seafood Guide in the iTunes store or go to http://www.sustainableseafood.org.au/Sustainable-Seafood-Guide-Australia.asp?active_page_id=695 )
Of course, once I purchase sustainable seafood, as a cook I have an obligation to make sure that what I cook with it is not wasted. Therefore, must be well cooked and delicious!
Lobsters, while overfished in parts of Victoria and South Australia, are currently deemed sustainable at current fishing levels elsewhere in Australia.
Happy in the knowledge that I can buy a lobster, I head off to the local fishery and pick a live one.
RSPCA guidelines for the humane despatch of crustaceans can be found here – http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-the-most-humane-way-to-kill-lobsters-and-other-crustaceans_79.html . After putting the lobster to sleep I cook it for 14 minutes under the theory that it takes about 7 minutes per 500g of lobster. Mine is 1kg so I give it 14 minutes plus 2 minutes for safety.
I pull it from the boiling pot and put it straight into an ice bath to cool and stop cooking.
The flesh is bright white, firm and moist. I give the head a twist and remove the tail. This way, all the meat comes neatly out of the head. I use a large, sharp knife to cut the tail in half lengthways. This lobster I am serving very simply with some lemon, melted butter, salt and pepper on the side for the diners to choose their preference.