Lobster thermidor

Matt Tebbutts classic French dish of lobster slathered in béchamel sauce and topped with bubbling gruyère is perfect with skinny fries and a green salad
By Matt Tebbutt
Lobster thermidor
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 large cooked lobster, about 1.5kg
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 200 ml basic béchamel sauce
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 2 tsp finely chopped tarragon
  • 50 g gruyere cheese, grated
  • pinch cayenne pepper

To serve

  • green salad
  • fries or chips


1. Twist off the lobster claws, crack the claws with a hammer or the back of a heavy knife, remove the claw meat and put it in a bowl. Split the body lengthways and then remove the tail meat from each half. Chop this roughly and add to the claw meat. Scrape any brown meat from the head and add this to the bowl too. Add the coral if attached.

2. Remove and discard both the dark gut that runs along the top of the tail and the small sac behind the mouth. Set the shells aside.

3. Heat the butter in a frying pan and gently sweat the shallots until softened, but not browned. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has been absorbed.

4. Add the béchamel sauce and mustard and stir well. Remove from the heat and stir in the tarragon, three-quarters of the cheese and the cayenne pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted.

5. Pour the sauce over the lobster meat and stir to coat each piece. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Preheat the grill to hot.

7. Put the shells on a baking tray. Pile the meat into the reserved shells, scatter the remaining cheese over the top and cook under the grill until browned and bubbling.

8. Serve with a green salad and fries

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