Seawater-Poached Beach Lobster with Lemon Brown Butter
The quintessential taste of Canada’s Maritimes from famed PEI chef Michael Smith.
There are many ways to enjoy lobster on Prince Edward Island—from the sea-splashed back deck of the boat that caught it to the crisp white tables of fine-dining restaurants. At the FireWorks Feast at The Inn at Bay Fortune chef Michael Smith and his cooks often poach the crustaceans restaurant-style—just enough to firm and release the near-raw meat from the shell before adding various creative flavors and flourishes to finish. It’s very labor intensive, so when Smith and his cooks take a day off from the crowds and head for the local beach, this is their favorite way to enjoy lobster: simply poached in fresh seawater, and served with lots of butter. And not just melted butter, but brown butter! They’re cooks, after all, and they know a few secrets. You will too after you share a lobster with someone you love on an uncrowded beach (easy to find on Prince Edward Island) on a cerulean-blue summer day. Just don’t forget to pack the beverages. If you happen to find yourself far from the seashore, this cooking method also works well on the stovetop.
This recipe is adapted from Farm, Fire & Feast: Recipes from the Inn at Bay Fortune by Michael Smith. Copyright © 2021 Michael Smith. Photography by Al Douglas. Published by Penguin Canada®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
- Fresh seawater, or substitute hot tap water plus 2 Tbsp. (1.3 oz.) fine sea salt per quart
- 8 live 1½-lb lobsters
- 16 tbsp. (8 oz.) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- A splash of hot sauce