Can you eat lobster claws?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat lobster claws?”. We will further elaborate on the taste of lobster claws, their method of cooking, types of lobster claws, some facts, and the advantages of lobster claws.

Can you eat lobster claws?

Yes, you can eat lobster claws. Claws of lobster are rich in meat. Lobster claws are torn apart. The position of the claws is not fixed. Rather these can be on different sides for different lobsters.

Shellfish constituents such as carotenoids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), bioactive peptides, among others can be valuable nutraceuticals for the development of functional foods, defined as foods with specific beneficial health effects beyond simple nutrition (1).

How can lobster claws be cooked?

Although there are multiple methods of cooking lobster claws. But the best method is to boil lobster claws before cooking them. 

For this purpose, water is boiled in a pot, lobster claws are added and boiled for about twelve minutes. After boiling lobster claws, the oven is preheated to 350 degrees centigrade. 

Claws must be wrapped in aluminum foil. On a baking sheet inside the oven, claws are placed. After baking them for about five minutes, the pan is removed from the oven. Before serving, it must be kept in mind that lobster claws must be unpacked.

The taste of lobster claws

The meat extracted from lobster claws is softer than tail meat. It is also sweeter in taste as compared to tail meat. The taste of lobster claws is a mixture of the taste of crab and shrimp. 

The nutritional content of lobster claws

Following is the list of some nutrients which you can avail of by eating lobster claws.

  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus

Studies show that 100 g lobster claw meat contains 4.27 mg Zn, 0.26mg Fe, 0.26 mg Mn, 1.84 mg Cu, 0.067 mg Se, 162 mg Ca, 38.2 mg Mg, 368 mg Na, and 73.7 K (2). The lobster meat is a source of vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, E and Niacin (1).

Types of lobster claws

Lobsters have two different types of claws. 

Large crusher claw: The edge of the crusher claw is ridged. This ridged edge has similarities with molar teeth on its biting surface,morals as it is used to break down hard foods like crabs. It is short, stout and heavy 

Pincher claw:  For softer prey, pincher claws are utilized. The pincher claw, or cutter claw, can give a quick, nasty pinch. Indeed, its dactyl can close against the opposing pollex within 20 msec, which is several times faster than any human reflex. In contrast, the crusher claw closes very slowly, but with enough force to crack. 

One of the principal reasons for the different speeds with which the paired claws close is the fiber composition of the closer muscle. This massive muscle occupies 90% of the segment in which it is housed. The only other muscle in this segment is a relatively small muscle that opens the thumb or dactyl prior to closing. The closer muscle in the cutter claw is composed predominantly of fast muscle fibers (90%) along with a small ventral band of slow muscle fibers; the crusher muscle contains all slow fiber (3).

Whether a crusher claw will develop on the right side or left side, depends on which claw is used more. There are 55% chances of developing a right or left crusher.

Some facts about lobster claws

Following are some facts about lobster claws

  • At the lateral stage of life, the crusher claw turns sexually dimorphic.
  • Only reproductive males develop a huge crusher claw. Female lobsters find this huge crusher claw very attractive.
  • It is also possible for some lobsters to have more than two claws.
  • In some segmented animals like lobsters, repetition of body parts take place.
  • Differently from humans, where the majority are right-handed, in lobsters the crusher claw appears with equal probability on the right or left side of the body. 
  • bilateral asymmetry of the claws comes about gradually during asymmetry of the claws comes about gradually during juvenile development of paired sym metric claws (3).

Abnormalities of lobster claws

Abnormal lobster claws have the following characteristics:

  • There are 3 claws on one side of abnormal lobsters.
  • Abnormal claws have double seizures that grow out of the same body part as the crusher. These double claws are connected directly to the main body.

Different recipes in which lobster claws are used

Following are different recipes in which lobsters are used as ingredients.

Lobster rolls: 

After collecting all the ingredients including lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and lobster claws, buns are toasted in a toaster. Mayonnaise, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and pepper are combined in a small bowl. 

Lobster meat is placed in a large bowl and mayonnaise mixture is added to it. Then it is combined. Lobster is divided evenly among the buns. Lobster rolls are served with lemon wedges.

Lobster bisque: 

Butter and oil are heated in a large pot over medium flame. Onions, carrots, celery and fresh herbs are combined. These are cooked for about five minutes. Bouillon powder is used to season these. After stirring in four cloves of garlic it is cooked.  

While the mixture is being stirred, it is sprinkled over the flour. After transferring the mixture to a blender, heat is turned off. Alternatively, puree with an immersion blender until it gets smooth. Then before serving, it is returned to medium or low heat and is stirred in heavy cream.

Crab stuffed lobster claws: 

After preheating the oven to 425 degrees centigrade, all the edges of lobster claws are pulled apart. By using melted butter, each portion of meat is brushed. 

Crushed crackers, seafood seasoning, crab meat, a quarter cup of clarified butter, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and white pepper are all mixed in a bowl till they are blended well. Lobster tail is baked until stuffing turns golden brown.

The health benefits of lobster claws

Protein-rich: 

The high amount of protein present in lobster claws meat is very good for metabolism and helps to lose weight as it boosts the feeling of fullness.

Proteins are crucial for maintenance and growth of the human body. Shellfish and other seafood are good sources of branched chain amino acids and taurine, which act beneficially on glucose metabolism and also blood pressure. 

Furthermore, the digested protein can be absorbed in the intestine in the form of single amino acids, di- or tripeptides, and oligopeptides. Bioactive peptides are protein fragments, which have attracted recent attention due to their interesting physiological functions. These include their antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor, antioxidative, cardioprotective, immune-modulatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, antiaging, appetite-suppressing, and neuroprotective activities (1).

Boosts brain health:

Omega-3s and vitamin B-12 present in the meat of lobster claws are very effective to enhance the health of the brain. Also according to research, people who add lobster claws to their diet are at low risk of depression, dementia, and brain stroke. 

The consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids is associated with reduced cardiac deaths among individuals as well with improved infant health outcomes. The omega-3 fatty acids impart their anti-inflammatory effects via reduction of nuclear factor-κB activation. This transcription factor is a potent inducer of pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Besides, omega-3 fatty acids are also able to increase secretion of adiponectin, an anti inflammatory adipokine. Through these actions, the omega-3 fatty acids alter cell and tissue functions that favor disease prevention and maintenance of health (1).

Other FAQs about Lobster that you may be interested in.

Can you eat lobster raw?

Why do we boil lobsters alive?

How to freeze lobster tail?

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat lobster claws?”. We have further elaborated on the taste of lobster claws, their method of cooking, types of lobster claws, some facts, and the advantages of lobster claws.

References

  1. Venugopal, Vazhiyil, and Kumarapanicker Gopakumar. Shellfish: Nutritive value, health benefits, and consumer safety. Comprehen Rev Food Sci Food Safe, 2017, 16, 1219-1242.
  2. Kwoczek, Magdalena, et al. Essential and toxic elements in seafood available in Poland from different geographical regions. J agric food chem, 2006, 54, 3015-3024.
  3. Govind, C. K. Asymmetry in lobster claws. Am Scient, 1989, 77, 468-474.