Do you love lobster tails but find preparing them to be a hassle? Steaming lobster tails in a rice cooker can be an easy and convenient cooking method. A rice cooker provides a simple way to steam lobster tails to tender, juicy perfection right from your own kitchen.
Read on to learn the step-by-step process for steaming lobster tails in a rice cooker, along with tips, tricks and recipe variations to help you make perfect lobster every time.
Choosing the Right Rice Cooker for Steaming Lobster Tails
The first step is selecting the right rice cooker for the job. Here are key factors to consider:
- Size – Choose a rice cooker that is large enough to accomodate the number of lobster tails you plan to cook, with extra space for steam circulation. Avoid overcrowding.
- Steamer basket – Look for a rice cooker with a steaming tray or basket. This lifts the lobster tails out of the water for ideal steaming.
- Temperature settings – A rice cooker with adjustable temperature controls can help fine-tune the steaming process.
- Non-stick interior – This makes cleanup easy after cooking those delicious lobster tails!
Preparing the Lobster Tails
Proper preparation is crucial for tender, flavorful steamed lobster tails.
- Thaw – Thaw frozen lobster tails overnight in the fridge before steaming.
- Split the shell – Use kitchen shears to cut the shell lengthwise. This allows heat to penetrate the meat.
- Loosen the meat – Gently pull the meat up and away from the bottom shell.
- Season – Rub a light coating of oil, salt and pepper over the meat before steaming.
- Set up – Place tails in a single layer in the steamer basket. Avoid overcrowding.
Filling and Heating the Rice Cooker
Now it’s time to prep the rice cooker itself:
- Add water – Fill the rice cooker bowl with 1-2 inches of water. This will create steam.
- Insert basket – Place steamer basket with lobster tails gently into the rice cooker.
- Flavor (optional) – For extra flavor, add garlic, lemon, herbs or spices to the water.
- Turn on – Turn rice cooker to “steam” or “cook” setting to bring water to a boil.
- Cover – Close the lid to trap steam inside.
Steaming Times for Lobster Tails
Timing is key for perfectly steamed lobster. Follow these guidelines:
- 6-8 minutes – Ideal time for steaming small or medium lobster tails.
- 8-12 minutes – For larger lobster tails, extend cooking to 8-12 minutes.
- Do not overcook – Check at 5 minutes to avoid overcooking.
- Avoid opening lid – This releases steam and can increase cooking time.
- Use visual cues – Look for opaque, firm meat and bright red shells when done.
Serving Your Steamed Lobster Tails
You steamed your lobster tails to tender perfection. Now, time to enjoy!
- Allow lobster tails to rest 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with melted butter, lemon wedges, or dipping sauces.
- Offer lobster crackers and picks for easy meat removal.
- Try fun variations like lobster rolls, tacos, or salad.
- Refrigerate leftover lobster meat up to 2-3 days.
More Delicious Lobster Tail Recipes
Once you master steaming lobster tails in a rice cooker, try these tasty recipe variations:
- Baked Lobster Tails – Split tails, brush with garlic-lemon butter, and bake 8-10 minutes.
- Grilled Lobster Tails – Butterfly tails, grill flesh side down 5 minutes, then flip and grill 2-3 minutes more.
- Broiled Lobster Tails – Split, season and top tails with breadcrumbs, then broil for 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
- Lobster Rolls – Toss steamed chopped lobster with mayo, lemon juice, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Serve in split toasted rolls.
So don’t be intimidated by cooking lobster tails – just fire up your rice cooker! In less than 15 minutes, you’ll be indulging in the sweet taste of perfect steamed lobster.