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How to Butterfly a Lobster Tail for a Gourmet Seafood Feast

Learning how to butterfly a lobster tail doesn't need to be intimidating. In fact, it's surprisingly easy—and the key to the gourmet look we see at fancy seafood restaurants. When butterflying lobster tails, you're essentially just cutting lobster tails through the hard shell so you can easily spread the tail meat into two even halves. The lobster tail meat underneath the shell then puffs up as it cooks. The resulting edible portion is juicy, tender, and totally rave-worthy.

1. Cut the Tail

Hold a lobster tail in one hand with the top of the hard shell facing up. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut through the top of the shell and through the meat, stopping just before the bottom shell. Don't cut through the wide end of the tail.

2. Open Lobster Tail to Separate the Meat from the Shell

Using your thumbs and fingers, gently spread the halves of the tails apart, keeping the meat attached near the end of the tail.

Step 3: Lift the Meat over the Shell

Gently separate the meat from the back of the shell, keeping the base attached at the tail, and lift the meat over the shell. Squeeze the shell halves back together beneath the meat so that the meat rests on top of the shell. Now the tail is ready to cook as desired.

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