Lobster thermidor

Lobster thermidor

At Home with Ben
Mark Roper

When I was an apprentice we used to sell lobster thermidor, Americana and mornay hand over fist! You don’t see these dishes too often in restaurants these days but they still rock!

I cooked this dish on Surfing the Menu in Esperance, Western Australia, using a 3-kilo southern rock lobster. Very impressive but a little impractical – it’s a little more manageable if you use four small live lobsters.


Quantity Ingredient
4 x 600g western australian rock lobsters
100ml Clarified butter
3 french shallots, finely chopped
100ml cognac
600ml thickened cream
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon english mustard
freshly ground black pepper
4 egg yolks
2 lemons, cut into wedges, to serve


  1. To kill the lobsters, place them in the freezer for about 10 minutes, until they’re dead but not frozen. Plunge them into boiling water for 3 minutes – this will make the flesh pull away from the shell without cooking it. Pull the tail from the head of each lobster, then use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the membrane from under the tail and remove the meat, twisting and pulling the final piece nearest the tail to remove the gravel sack.
  2. Place the heads and tails in the boiling water to cook to a bright red colour – this will take around 5 minutes. When cooked, drain well. Use scissors to cut a section of shell from each lobster head, large enough for you to sit the tail in the hole securely. Arrange on a serving platter with the tails turned upwards.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over low heat and gently sauté the clarified butter. Dice the lobster meat, add it to the pan and very gently poach for about 3 minutes, until just starting to colour. Remove to a plate.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Discard most of the butter, then add the shallots and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Turn up the heat and add the cognac. Flame and reduce by half.
  6. Stir in 2 cups of the cream and reduce by half, then add the mustards and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the sauce until thick, then turn off the heat and add the lobster meat.
  7. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining cream and season. Mix with the lobster meat and sauce and place over low heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Check the seasoning again.
  8. Spoon the lobster meat and sauce into the upturned lobster tails, then place in the oven to bake for 5 minutes, until bubbling and golden and dark in patches.
  9. Serve with the lemon wedges.
At Home with Ben
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