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Lobster: How Much Does Lobster Cost?

Lobster is known as a seafood that is beneficial for human health, containing valuable protein and energy that promotes body development. Moreover, the presence of selenium in lobster has the ability to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Therefore, lobster is a sought-after food item, and its nutritional value is often a topic of interest. In this article, KINGFISH will share useful information about this seafood.

I. What is Lobster?

1. Identification Characteristics of Lobster

Lobster belongs to the Panulirus spp. family and has a body structure divided into two main parts: the cephalothorax and the abdomen.

The cephalothorax consists of 14 segments fused together to form a unit, with each segment having a pair of appendages. There are a total of 8 segments at the rear, forming the cephalothorax, while the first 6 segments form the head. On the cephalothorax, you can find the following structures:

– Antennae: There are a total of 2 pairs of antennae, with the first pair branched and playing a crucial role in sensing the surrounding environment.
– Eyes: Lobster has compound eyes that can move or remain static, even retract. These eyes are essential for observing the surrounding environment.
– Mouthparts: Consisting of upper and lower jaws and jaw appendages, these mouthparts are responsible for feeding and processing food.
– Walking Legs: There are a total of 5 pairs of walking legs that aid in locomotion and other activities.
The abdomen comprises 6 segments covered with chitinous exoskeleton on the back, sides, and abdomen. Segments 2 to 5 each have 4 pairs of swimmerets, which help lobsters swim. The 6th abdominal segment has transformed into a tail fan with a telson, a rigid structure that helps lobsters maintain balance and perform necessary movements.

2. Nutritional Value of Lobster

Lobster is known as a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce cholesterol levels in the body. In addition, the nutritional quality of lobster includes significant amounts of copper and selenium, offering various important health benefits:
– Supports the improvement of anemia: High levels of copper in lobster promote iron absorption, enhance the production of red blood cells, and help increase blood production. This enhances the nutritional value of lobster for individuals dealing with anemia.
– Supports the nervous system: Research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda has shown that Omega-3 deficiency may contribute to the development of depression in adults. Furthermore, selenium deficiency has been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Thanks to its high selenium and Omega-3 content, lobster plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the nervous system, reducing the risk of conditions like depression and ADHD.

II. Popular Types of Lobster

1. Spiny Lobster

Spiny lobster, mainly found in the South Central region and the seas of Nha Trang, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan in Vietnam, is known for its large size. Typically, they have a length ranging from 30 to 35 cm, but can reach up to 50 cm. The average weight of spiny lobsters is about 1.5 – 1.8 kg, but some can weigh up to 4 – 4.5 kg each.
Spiny lobsters have a beautiful appearance with an outer shell that is a combination of sea blue and green hues. Particularly, their heads and spines have interesting orange spots. On the back and between the abdominal segments of the shell, there is a wide black or dark brown horizontal stripe. Additionally, on both sides of the abdominal segments, there is usually one or two bright cream or white spots, creating an attractive color pattern.

2. Baby Lobster

Baby lobsters are smaller in size, typically ranging from 3 to 8 pieces per kilogram. Despite their smaller size, baby lobsters are known for their dense and firm meat. A notable feature is the layer of golden-yellow fat along their heads and along the back, adding a distinctive aroma and providing good nutritional value.

3. Slipper Lobster

Another small type of lobster is the slipper lobster. While it is smaller in size, its meat is not as tasty and elastic as baby lobster. Slipper lobsters have a striking green body with dark green hues on the shell and back, combined with white edges. The antennae on slipper lobsters are pinkish, creating an impressive and visually appealing appearance. Slipper lobsters can reach a length of up to 30 cm.

4. Bamboo Lobster

Named “bamboo lobster” due to the similarity in color of its shell to bamboo, this type of lobster has delicious and firm meat, containing a significant amount of calcium, fatty acids, and vitamin B12, all of which are beneficial for health. Some believe that bamboo lobster meat may help enhance male vitality.

III. How Much Does Lobster Cost per Kilogram?

– Spiny Lobster: Due to its delicious meat, large size, and high nutritional value, fresh spiny lobsters can be relatively expensive, ranging from 1.6 to 2.5 million Vietnamese dong per kilogram, depending on their size.
– Baby Lobster: Fresh baby lobster is priced at around 500,000 to 800,000 Vietnamese dong per kilogram, depending on the size.
– Slipper Lobster: Fresh slipper lobster is priced at approximately 700,000 Vietnamese dong per kilogram.
– Bamboo Lobster: Bamboo lobster comes in moderate sizes, ranging from 0.4 to 1.2 kg each. Fresh bamboo lobster is priced at around 800,000 to 1,200,000 Vietnamese dong per kilogram.

IV. How to Prepare Lobster

To prepare lobster correctly, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Keep the lobster securely fastened and use a knife to separate the head and body of the lobster.
  • Step 2: Turn the lobster’s head over and cut it in half. Use your hands to gently separate the two halves without completely detaching them.
  • Step 3: Use scissors to remove the lobster’s legs.
  • Step 4: Turn the lobster’s body over and use a knife to cut across the abdomen from the middle to the head. Then, cut from the abdomen down to the tail. Use your hands to gently separate the two body parts without fully detaching them. Remove the dorsal vein on the lobster’s back.

V. Delicious Lobster Dishes

1. Lobster Hot Pot

– Lobster (as many as desired)
– 200g sour tamarind
– 1 sprig of mint
– 3 kumquats
– 2 tomatoes
– ½ pineapple
– Spices: minced garlic, minced shallots, chili, cooking oil, fish sauce, seasoning powder, etc.
– Side ingredients: squid, beef, clams, mushrooms, etc.
– Fresh rice vermicelli or noodles
– Water spinach, okra, bean sprouts, green onions, etc.

  • Step 1: Prepare the lobster by cleaning, splitting, and marinating it.
  • Step 2: Heat the pot and add cooking oil. Sauté minced garlic and shallots until fragrant.
  • Step 3: Add water, tamarind, kumquats, tomatoes, pineapple, and spices to create a flavorful broth.
  • Step 4: Once the broth comes to a boil, add the lobster and other seafood and cook until everything is done.
  • Step 5: Serve the hot pot with a variety of fresh vegetables and dipping sauces.

2. Grilled Lobster with Salt and Chili

– Lobster (as many as desired)
– Salt, chili, and minced garlic
– Fresh lemon, lime, or kumquat
– Dipping sauce (fish sauce, sugar, minced garlic, chili, lime, and water)

  • Step 1: Clean and split the lobster.
  • Step 2: Mix salt, chili, and minced garlic to create a seasoning mixture.
  • Step 3: Grill the lobster over charcoal or in an oven until the meat is cooked and fragrant.
  • Step 4: Serve the grilled lobster with the seasoning mixture, fresh lemon, lime, or kumquat, and dipping sauce.

3. Lobster Congee

– Lobster (as many as desired)
– Rice
– Congee seasoning (fish sauce, minced garlic, minced shallots, chili, seasoning powder, etc.)
– Fresh herbs (cilantro, green onions, etc.)
– Fried onions and garlic

  • Step 1: Clean, split, and marinate the lobster.
  • Step 2: Cook the rice with an appropriate amount of water until it becomes congee.
  • Step 3: In a separate pot, heat some oil and sauté minced garlic and shallots until fragrant.
  • Step 4: Add the marinated lobster and cook until the meat turns white.
  • Step 5: Season the lobster with fish sauce, minced chili, and seasoning powder.
  • Step 6: Serve the lobster congee with fresh herbs, fried onions, and garlic.

In conclusion, lobster is a highly sought-after seafood delicacy known for its delicious taste and nutritional value. It comes in various types, each with its own unique characteristics and flavors. The cost of lobster can vary depending on the type and size, with spiny lobster generally being the most expensive. Preparing lobster can be a bit challenging, but there are many delicious dishes that can be made with this seafood, such as lobster hot pot, grilled lobster with salt and chili, and lobster congee. Enjoying lobster dishes is not only a culinary delight but also a way to benefit from its health-promoting nutrients.