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steaming American, French, Indian
Lobster with Curry Sauce

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1


Because the lobster is cooked first, then napped with curry sauce, its meat remains tender and delicate. This was the most popular lobster dish during my time at Montrachet, and the sauce, incorporating the sweet spiciness of curry, is one of my favorites.

Even live lobsters in tanks may not be fresh from the ocean, so be sure that those you buy are lively and active. Ask for female lobsters; they have bigger tails than the male lobsters do, and under the tail, the first spinnerets are soft and fringed, while the males’ are smooth and harder. Females will give you more tail meat, as well as a bonus: delicious tomalley and coral.

Boiling lobster is easier and more humane than steaming. It also allows you to cook several lobsters in one pot, while it is hard to find a pot and rack large enough to steam more than 2 lobsters at a time. For those who won’t have their lobster any other way, however, I include steaming as an alternative.

Lobsters are sold by weight, with corresponding names:

¾ to 1 pound: chicken

1 to 1¼ pounds: quarter

1½ to 2 pounds: select

2 pounds or over: jumbo

1 or 2 claws missing: cull

Yield: Makes 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt per quart of water
  • 4 lobsters, 1½ pounds each, female, if possible
  • 6 cups Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken broth

To serve:

  • 1 cup Curry Sauce
  • Sprigs of thyme, tarragon, or sage (optional)


Fill a stockpot or 8-quart pot with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Plunge the lobsters headfirst into the boiling water, cover, and cook 12 to 14 minutes. Carefully remove the lobsters from the pot. Allow them to cool somewhat, and remove the meat from the shells (see Notes).

Before serving, in a medium saucepan, heat the stock over medium-high heat until it is hot to the touch but not boiling. Add the lobster meat and heat through, 5 to 10 minutes, and drain. Be careful not to overheat; if the meat gets too hot, it will curl up.

To serve:

Bring the curry sauce to a boil over medium heat.

Divide the heated lobster meat among 4 plates and spoon curry sauce on top. Garnish with the herbs, if desired.


Make-ahead notes:

• The Curry Sauce can be refrigerated up to 3 days; do not freeze. Reheat over medium heat or in a microwave.

• Lobster meat can be refrigerated up to 12 hours.

To steam lobsters:

• Bring 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat in a large pot and place a wire rack at steamer tray in the pot.

• Place 2 lobsters (about 2¼ pounds each) on the rack, cover the pot with a lid, and steam until done, 18 to 20 minutes

To remove lobster meat from the shells after cooking:

• Separate the tail from the rest of the body

• Halve the tail lengthwise and remove the meat

• Twist off the claws, then separate the knuckles From the claws

• Crack the knuckles with the back of a knife and remove the meat.

Crack the claws just below the joint with a knife, break open with your fingers, and remove the meat

For salads or soups, refrigerate cooked lobster meat up to 12 hours in plastic wrap (discard the shells or freeze and save them for stock).

© 1996 Debra Ponzek and Joan Schwartz

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include Chicken Stock or Curry Sauce. For nutritional information on Chicken Stock or Curry Sauce, please follow the links above.

135kcal (7%)
72mg (7%)
0mg (0%)
32mcg RAE (1%)
143mg (48%)
735mg (31%)
0g (1%)
1g (2%)
0mg (3%)

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  • Karen713

    01.02.11 Flag comment

    I found the sauce to be overpowering for the lobster meat. It took a lot of time to prepare and I wound up throwing it out. No one would eat it anything with the sauce. Just a waste.


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