Margarita's International Recipes


Lobster Thermidor

Lobster Thermidor is one of those impossibly delicious dishes (or so I'm told) that French cuisine is most famous for. According to Wikipedia, it "was created in 1894 by Marie's, a Parisian restaurant near the theatre Comédie Française, to honour the opening of the play Thermidor by Victorien Sardou. ".

There are lots of recipes out there, but I chose a relatively simple one by James Beard. I made it using one of those tiny 5 oz-lobsters they sell at the supermarket, which meant that it was hard getting the meat out without pretty much destroying the whole carcass. The only part left semi-intact was the body, and that accommodated only about half of the lobster mixture. I cooked the rest in a ramekin.

I don't like lobster myself, but my husband said this was very tasty. It was also fairly simple to make. The recipe below is for one tiny lobster.

Lobster Thermidor


    For the Bechamel sauce

  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1.5 tsp flour
  • 4 tsp. fish broth
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • dash of salt & pepper
  • dash of nutmeg

    For the lobster

  • 1 5 oz cooked lobster or lobster tail
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine
  • 2 Tbsp fish broth
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped tarragon
  • bechamel sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. raw egg yolk
  • a sprinkle dry mustard
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • melted butter


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Prepare the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a very small pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook until it starts to brown. Add the broth and stir until smooth. Add the milk and cook until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let cool.

Remove the meat from the lobster, trying to keep the carcass as intact as possible. Dice the lobster into large chunks. Season with salt & pepper. Clean the carcass.

In a small cooking pot, combine the wine, broth, shallot and tarragon. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced to practically a glace. Add the bechamel sauce, the cream and egg yolk. Mix well and heat until it's almost boiling. Add the mustard and taste for seasoning. Once it thickens, add the lobster meat. Cook until warm.

Remove from the heat and fill lobster carcass with lobster mixture. Put additional mixture into a ramekin. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and brush with melted butter. Place in the oven and cook until browned.

Adapted from a recipe in James Beard's New Fish Cookery

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