Only wimps split the lobster up the middle to get the tail meat out. In fact, I walk out of restaurants that serve boiled or steamed lobster with the shell cut in any way.
Here's how a real man does it. (This technique is optimized for new england lobster, although it also works on their warm-water cousins. These directions assume you are right-handed. If you are left-handed, adapt accordingly. If you are unipalegic or only have the use of one or fewer hands, the above claim about real manhood does not apply to you. Also, this should not be construed as prohibiting a real woman from following these directions; personally, I'm turned on by a woman who knows how to eat seafood properly. The author hereby disclaims responsibility for any and all additional disclaimers that may be demanded by the first seven words of this paragraph, or that seafood turn-on comment for that matter.)
- Remove the lobster's tail from its body. I recommend manual torque; it should detach easily.
- Hold the tail in your left hand, with the end (the fins) away from your body (between the index finger and thumb) and the base (the exposed meat) toward you (between the little finger and the heel of your palm), bottom up (such that the smooth side rests against your palm and the swimmers and translucent underbelly face up toward you).
- Using only the left hand, hyperextend the tail, such that you have reversed its natural curvature.
- Take a regular dinner fork (plastic utensils and sporks will not generally work) in your right hand. Grip it not unlike you would grip a knife; the neck should be pressed flat between your thumb and the first knuckle of your index finger, with the concavity of the fork on the index-finger side. Perhaps half of the fork's length should extend beyond your thumb.
- Insert the fork, prongs first, between the tail meat and the translucent membrane of the tail's underside. The curvature of the fork should follow the inverted curvature of the tail almost perfectly. Use your left hand to jimmy the curvature as necessary to get the fork in as far as she'll go.
- At this point, you should recognize that you have created a crude pivot and lever.
- Release the end of the tail; it will try to resume its natural shape, pressing the tongs of the fork into the soft, delicious flesh of the crustacean.
- By taking advantage of the natural curvature to provide leverage, the meat should come out in one piece with relatively little effort.
- Ta-da!!! You have now impressed everyone with your remarkable engineering prowess.
If these instruction help you impress your friends, family, business partners, orthodontist, and/or significant other(s), find one of those web sites that ships fresh lobster overnight and send me a couple. Fresh lobster is better than XP; unfortunately it's also more expensive.
Personal tutoring is available as long as you're buying for both of us.