Of all the dishes my Mom has ever made, her lobster bisque is the one that steals the show every time. Every person leaving the dinner party is either wanting more of it or trying to learn the recipe themselves. I will say this recipe takes some time and effort so be sure to only make it for the people who deserve it.
How to prepare lobsters for lobster bisque
One of the most important and time consuming parts of this recipe is separating and cleaning the lobster before it gets cooked in the wok. I will split this up into the different areas of the lobster.
The lobster tail requires the least amount of work. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut from where the tail begins. This will be right under the upper portion of the lobster. The tail should easily dislocate and set this aside while we prepare the other sections.
The legs are located on the upper portion of the lobster and they are dangling down. The legs are relatively weak and can be cut off easily with kitchen shears.
The claws are connected to the upper portion of the lobster which is also very easy to cut off with a pair of kitchen shears. I would recommend making a crack in the claw because it will make it easier to extract the meat later.
The last body part remaining is the head and it also takes the most steps to prepare. First, you will want to cut it in half in between its eyes. This way you expose the center of the head and can begin to remove the “brain”. This is the green looking substance pictured below.
After the brain has been removed, there are a set of gills on the outside of each half of the head which I would recommend removing as well. The way to do this is by cutting them off with a pair of scissors.
The last step is to cut off the antenna because no one wants to deal with that thing dangling around. Once all of the lobsters are prepared, then we can begin cooking.
Corn starch slurry in lobster bisque
A corn starch slurry is used in this recipe as a thickening agent along with heavy cream. It is basically a mixture of corn starch with water. If you still feel as though the soup is not thick enough, continue to add more of the corn starch slurry to help thicken it.
Strain out all lobster bisque solids
After your soup has been simmering for 2.5 hours covered, make sure to run it through a fine sieve. Otherwise you will be left with solids in your soup and that is not the texture we want. We want a smooth and slightly creamy consistency with a ton of flavour.
The Best Lobster Bisque
- 6 lbs lobster (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 large onion
- ¼ cup cognac
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp tarragon
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 tomatoes
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 large carrot
- 15 cups water
- 2 fish bouillon cubes
- 1 can tomato paste (156ml)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bunch chives
Corn starch slurry
- ⅓ cup corn starch
- ¼ cup water
- Separate and prepare our lobsters. Refer to first section of post titled "how to prepare lobsters for lobster bisque"6 lbs lobster
- Prepare all vegetables: smash garlic, quarter onions, quarter tomatoes, cut carrots into 1 inch segments, and cut celery into 6 inch segments.6 cloves garlic, 1 large onion, 3 tomatoes, 3 stalks celery, 1 large carrot
- In a large wok over high heat, add olive oil and cook onions and garlic for 1 minute until blistered.6 cloves garlic, 1 large onion, 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add prepared lobster and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 2 tbsp of cognac. Allow it to cook for 2 minutes.¼ cup cognac
- Add black peppercorns, tarragon, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Allow to cook for 5 more minutes.1 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tbsp tarragon, 1 bunch fresh thyme, 4 bay leaves, 3 tomatoes, 3 stalks celery, 1 large carrot
- Remove the lobster tails and claws to extract all meat. A simple way to extract the tails is by pushing a fork through the center then following the curve of the lobster shell, pull the meat out. If you cannot do that, just use kitchen shears to cut them open. Set the meat aside for serving later.
- Transfer the shells and all vegetables into a large pot. Add 15 cups of water, or just enough to cover most of the shells and bring it up to a boil.15 cups water
- Cover with a lid and cook over med-low heat for 2.5 hours.
- Using a fine sieve, strain out all the solids leaving a smooth lobster stock. Keep over medium heat.
- Add the fish stock cubes, if you do not have this, just omit and add 1 tsp of salt.2 fish bouillon cubes
- Whisk in tomato paste.1 can tomato paste
- Combine corn starch and water to create corn starch slurry, then add it to the stock to thicken.⅓ cup corn starch, ¼ cup water
- Simmer over med heat uncovered for 10-20 minutes to thicken.
- Add heavy cream, remaining cognac, and season to taste with salt.½ cup heavy cream, 1 tsp salt, ¼ cup cognac
- Serve with lobster meat, chives, cream, and fresh black pepper.1 bunch chives
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out another soup recipe here: