Cooking lobster and recipes

How to Prepare Live Maine Lobster for Broiling

Perfectly Prepared Maine Baked Stuffed LobsterEveryone loves baked stuffed lobster.  But how to prepare live Maine Lobster for broiling at home can be a challenge. It’s not a job for the feint of heart. Fresh lobsters have to be prepared just so, and this means killing the live lobster by hand with a sharp chef’s knife.

Many people are just uncomfortable with this step but experts assure us the final preparation is quick and painless for lobster.  Lobsters are killed by inserting a sharp blade in the underside where the tail and body meet.

How to Prepare Live Maine Lobster for Broiling

Timing is very important in preparing baked stuffed lobster. It is best to have all ingredients ready and the dinner timed.  Always wait until the last minute to kill the lobsters.  This ensures all the natural flavors and juices will be preserved.

Move quickly and wear gloves if you want to protect your hands from the spiny shell.   If you are going to use the claw meat in the stuffing, place the lobster on its stomach and chop off the claws with a cleaver and set aside. If you are going to serve the lobster with the claws intact, skip this step and leave the claws on the lobster.

Next, place the lobster on its back, grasp the tail firmly, and insert a sharp knife into the body where the abdomen meets the tail and draw the knife towards the head.  Take care not to cut all the way through the shell.  Then reverse the cut, this time holding the body and drawing the knife down the tail.  Do not cut the back of the lobster shell.

Now you have to split the lobster with your fingers.  With the lobster on its back, press down with the fingers until the shell cracks open exposing the tail and body cavities. All the lobster is edible except the stomach, a hard sac near the head, and intestinal vein.  Remove and discard the stomach and the intestinal vein.  The greenish tomalley and coral roe are edible and should be collected into a small dish and set aside for the stuffing.

Famous Boston Baked (Broiled) Stuffed Lobster Recipe (Jasper White)


  • Two,  2-pound hard shell, select-grade lobsters
  • ¼ cup dried cornbread, crumbled
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted for brushing
  • 1 onion, medium, finely diced
  • 2 sprigs tarragon leaves coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 sprigs Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and cut into small ½ inch pieces
  • 2 ounces fresh sea scallops, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 ounces crab meat, picked clean of cartilage
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare the lobster for broiling and set aside.

Melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and season with pepper and salt. Cook until soft but not brown. Stir in parsley and tarragon. Add the shrimp, scallops and crab. Cook for one (1) minute.  Remove from heat and cool.

Recover the tomalley and roe and break into small pieces with a fork.  Add it to the seafood mixture.  Gently stir in the cornbread and season with salt and pepper.

If you are using the lobster claw meat in the stuffing, remove meat from the claws,   cut it into ½ inch pieces and add to seafood.

If you are serving the claws with the lobster, crack each claw with the backside of a large knife.  Place the lobsters on a baking sheet.  Divide the seafood stuffing evenly into the body cavity of each lobster.  Pack loosely so as not to affect the even cooking of the lobster.

Brush the melted butter over the exposed tail meat, stuffing and claws.  Cook until the stuffing is crisp and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.

For wine pairing, we recommend a Chardonnay  that is gently touched with fruit, and mostly un-oaked.


© Wayne Howe 2018


Boston and Cape Cod Seafood, shellfish and Maine lobster Steamers & Clams

Authentic Spaghetti Vongole Made with Fresh Littleneck Clams

Authentic Spaghetti Vongole with Fresh Littleneck ClamsAuthentic Spaghetti Vongole with Fresh Littleneck Clams from Cape Cod is a flavorful Italian style seafood pasta dish that is great for any occasion. Light and bursting with the clam sauce flavor, this pasta dish is a favorite in Boston.  For best results, the sauce must be made with fresh live clams.

Native to New  England, littleneck clams are more tender than the larger quahog clams. Though the littleneck clam is often served raw on the half shell along with raw oysters and cooked shrimp, littleneck clams are the required ingredient for making authentic pasta dishes such as Spaghetti Vongole.

Authentic Spaghetti Vongole with Fresh Littleneck Clams

The recipe is not difficult but care must be taken to prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished. 

Servings: 4 -5 servings 


The first step is to clean the clams.  Fill a deep pot with cold water and carefully place the little neck clams into the pot. Let the clams sit for about 15 minutes to remove any grit.  Scrub the shells under running water and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and bring the pot to a boil again. Stirring occasionally, cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until “al dente,” tender and firm.  Drain the pasta well and return to pot.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a deep pan with a lid. Add the clams, cover and cook for five minutes occasionally shaking the pan. This will allow the clam juice to simmer. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes; sauté for 2 minutes until the garlic begins to brown. Add the wine, lemon juice and half the parsley. Cover and cook, again shaking the pan periodically allowing the sauce to reduce until all the clams are opened.  Discard any clams that have not opened.

Authentic Littleneck Clams Used in Spaghetti Vongole

Little Neck Clams

Turn the flame up to medium-high heat. Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan; add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Toss the pasta with the clams to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle on the rest of the chopped parsley and the toasted bread crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. 

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  •  ¼  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 pounds fresh  littleneck clams from Cape Cod
  •  ¾  cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  •  ¼ cup  fresh parsley,  chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted and fried bread crumbs

You may also wish to try other dishes made with little neck clams such as the famous and popular Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo recipe.

© Wayne Howe 2018


Events Fishermen Lobster statistics

National Lobster Day 2019
So Eat More Lobster

hauling lobster from trap and cooked lobster


Well, I had often heard the stories from when my Dad,  as a young boy,  would complain when his father brought home another bag of lobsters for dinner, saying “Oh,no! Not lobsters again …”  Back then a can of beans cost more than a can of lobster.  It was so cheap it was routinely fed to inmates in prison, or even ground up for fertilizer.  Yes, that was then. Today we celebrate National Lobster Day 2019 and pat ourselves on the back for creating the sustainable lobster industry which provides us with an abundance of the wonderful creatures will all love to eat .

Eat More Lobster

So celebrate National Lobster Day today by putting together a family dinner, fill the kettle with lobster, and have a lobster feast.  These days, no matter where you live, lobster is just a web site visit away.  If your not in Maine or New England, fresh Maine lobster can be shipped right to your door using any number of online lobster delivery services.

Lobster Fisherman

And while we are at, let’s give kudos to the Maine lobster industry, especially the fisherman who do the hard hauling and brave the elements to bring us our lobster.  The  Maine industry has taken sustainability to new levels. The achievement is the result of a strong partnership among the government, the fisherman and the dealers.

Lobster Fisherman Notches female lobster

Notching Female Lobster

The industry stays in the forefront of conservation and regulation to ensure an abundant, healthy supply of Maine lobster.  And there is much to celebrate:  Maine  lobstermen  in 2018 caught  120 million pounds of lobster valued at more than $484 million, up 8 million pounds from 2017.  That is the third largest catch on record.

We should all take notice too that  harvesting lobster has not changed in 125 years.  The fisherman still haul them in by hand, one lobster trap at a time.  Each lobster is examined, measured and thrown back if too small or if it is a female with eggs.  The egg bearing female has the tail notched before being returned to the ocean.  This means that notched female lobster will never ever make it to the kettle as all the fisherman will honor the notch and toss the lobster back.

National Lobster Day 2019 – Eat More Lobster

So pick out a Maine lobster recipe, heat up the kettle and eat more lobster.


© Wayne Howe 2019






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