Can you eat lobster eggs?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat lobster eggs?”. We will further elaborate on the taste of lobster eggs, the lifespan of lobster eggs inside female lobster, the nutritional content, and the advantages of lobster eggs.

Can you eat lobster eggs?

Yes, you can eat lobster eggs after properly cooking them. 

The color of lobster eggs is black. But this color changes to red when these eggs are cooked. Although lobster roe itself is edible, the preferred method is to cook it until it becomes red. Then this red lobster egg is eaten.

Lobster eggs

The immature egg of the lobster is known as roe. If we examine roe, it is composed of a red material which is the coral or tiny egg of the female lobster. This red portion is present along the trail at the base of the body. Just like caviar, lobster eggs were once thought to be a delicacy. 

Egg development in crustaceans is also very sensitive to thermal conditions, and incubation periods can be extended by cold water temperatures, or reduced during warmer conditions, thus influencing timing to hatch (1).

The taste of lobster eggs

Lobster’s egg tastes good. They have a slightly sweet taste. The texture of lobster eggs is almost liquid and easily passes down our throats. The taste of lobster eggs is somewhat light as compared to crab’s meat.

For how much time do lobster eggs remain inside the female lobster?

If we talk about the lifespan of lobster eggs inside female lobster, it is about 9 to 12 months. After the first 9 to 12 months, these eggs get attached to swimmerets for the next 9 to 12 months. During this time, they are exposed to seasonal fluctuations in water temperature that can have a pronounced impact on their development. Moreover, many ovigerous females undertake inshore-to-offshore seasonal migrations that can either enhance, or reduce, the magnitude of the seasonal temperature fluctuations their eggs experience (1). After eggs are hatched, it takes about four to six weeks for larvae to float near the surface.

After how much time does female lobsters lay an egg?

Females can’t lay eggs at any time of the year. Rather, the female has to wait for a favorable time while the sperm resides inside it. The favorable time for female lobsters to lay eggs is usually during July and August. 

Females can breed every two years. Eggs in female lobsters are present beneath the abdomen and are attached to structures called spinnerets. American lobsters primarily exhibit two year reproductive cycles. Before mating in July-August, a female travels to a male’s shelter and undergoes molting. During mating, a male deposits his spermatophore, a gelatinous spermatozoa cluster, into a female’s seminal receptacle. A female carries the male’s spermatophore for an entire year internally, along with eggs developing in the ovaries over the same period. The following July-August, female lobsters extrude their eggs and fertilize the egg mass externally. Fertilized eggs are carried externally, attached to the female’s pleopods for another year until hatching the following May-June (2).

The nutritional content of lobster eggs

Following are some nutrients that you can avail of by eating lobster eggs

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfur
  • Phosphorus

Proteins are the main component of marine invertebrate eggs and during development amino acids are conserved to build up the structure of the embryo. Lobster eggs contain essential and non-essential amino acids. It also contains 26% of fat, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The quantitatively most important fatty acids were the saturates (SFA)14:0,16:0 and 18:0, the monounsaturates (MUFA) 16:1 n-7,18:1 n-9 and 18:1 n-7 and polyunsaturates (PUFA) 18:2 n-6,18:3 n-3, 20:4 n-6 (arachidonic acid), 20:5 n-3 (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 22:6 n-3 (docosahexaenoic acid) (3).

Different recipes in which lobster eggs can be used

Following are some recipes in which lobster eggs can be used as ingredients:

  • Lobster benedict: All the ingredients are collected. We will make a start by toasting English muffins. It is a small and important step. Lobsters are heated and are divided and eggs are poached while muffins are being toasted. During poaching, the direction for poaching must be maintained. 

After poaching, a very important point to keep in mind is to place the poached eggs in a paper towel-lined dish. These poached eggs must be placed there prior to placing the eggs on the English muffins. Through this step, we can make sure that they are carrying only the required amount of water.

  • Lobster muffins: After preparing muffins, flour, yeast, and salt are mixed. Milk and eggs are added and mixed into the dough. A piece of baking parchment is placed in a frying pan and heat is turned on. Then muffins are cooked for about five minutes after being transferred to the pan. 

After incorporating butter, season it with salt, lemon juice, and cayenne. Claws of lobsters are twisted and these are bashed with a rolling pin. Lobster meat is warmed over medium heat.

Eggs are poached and a splash of vinegar is added. After placing half a muffin on each plate, it is topped with spinach. Then it is served.

The health benefits of lobster eggs

Following are some health benefits that you can avail of by eating lobster eggs.

  • Protein-rich: High amount of protein present in lobster eggs is very good for metabolism and helps to lose weight as it boosts the feeling of fullness. The lobster eggs provide essential and non-essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscles and tissues (1).
  • Boosts brain health: Omega-3-s and vitamin B12 present in lobster eggs are very effective to enhance the health of the brain. Also according to research, people who add lobster eggs to their diet are at low risk of depression, dementia, and brain stroke. Vitamin B12 may well also be important in relation to both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease through reduction in the biomarker, plasma homocysteine (4).
  • Protects against heart diseases: EPA and DHA present in lobster eggs protect against the risk of heart diseases. Also, these eggs decrease cholesterol levels and control sugar levels. The rate of inflammation is also decreased by their consumption. DHA has been strongly linked to favor cognitive functioning while EPA has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (4).
  • Anti-cancer effects: Selenium present in lobster eggs provides anti-cancer properties. As it promotes the death of tumors and destroys cancer-causing agents. (Se) is an essential micronutrient for animals and humans due to its antioxidative properties and its roles in the regulation of thyroid hormone metabolism and cell growth (4).

Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

How to tell if eggs have gone bad?

How long do hard-boiled eggs stay good?

How long do boiled eggs stay fresh?

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat lobster eggs?”. We have further elaborated on the taste of lobster eggs, the lifespan of lobster eggs inside female lobster, the nutritional content, and the advantages of lobster eggs.

References

  1. Goldstein, Jason S., and Winsor H. Watson III. Biochemical changes throughout early-and middle-stages of embryogenesis in lobsters (Homarus americanus) under different thermal regimes. PeerJ, 2019, 7, e6952.
  2. Siders, Zachary. Correlation between female size and egg energy content in American lobsters (Homarus americanus).University of North Carolina Wilmington.
  3. Perugini, M., Visciano, P., Manera, M. et al. Contamination of different portions of raw and boiled specimens of Norway lobster by mercury and selenium. Environ Sci Pollut Res, 2013, 20, 8255–8262.  
  4. Lund, Elizabeth K. Health benefits of seafood; is it just the fatty acids?. Food chem, 2013, 140, 413-420.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.