SATURDAY IS NATIONAL LOBSTER DAY, a day to celebrate all things lobster and enjoy some dishes made with the decadent crustacean.

Lobster wasn’t always a luxury food. Until the mid-19th century it was eaten by poor people and frequently served to prisoners and servants. It was also used as fish bait and fertilizer.

Here in the Granite State we are fortunate to have access to fresh lobster. It’s sought after around the world as a delicacy. In fact, exports of Maine lobster to China have soared in recent years; however, the recent tariff war between China and the U.S. means lobster exports to China have plunged nearly 84 percent since new tariffs went into effect last July.

I recently heard the phrase “you are my lobster” and didn’t know what it meant so I looked it up. Lobsters mate for life so if you tell someone “you are my lobster,” it means they are the person you are meant to be with forever.

If you want to enjoy some lobster this weekend — a great choice for a Father’s Day celebration or a way to attract a mate for life — there are dozens of dishes you can make besides steaming them and dipping them in butter.

I love lobster stew and was excited when I noticed a lobster cooking base at the grocery store recently. It’s called Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base and it’s a concentrated lobster-flavored paste.

I sautéed celery and onions in butter then added lobster base and vegetable stock. I then added little potatoes and let them simmer until they were fully cooked. Finally, I stirred in cod, lobster meat, fresh corn and fresh herbs and let the whole thing simmer some more. Just before serving, I added half and half, lemon juice and Old Bay Seasoning. It was a delicious compromise between a soup and a chowder with lots of decadent lobster flavor.

Last summer at a restaurant in Maine I tried lobster-corn fritters for the first time and they were amazing. I attempted to recreate them and I think I came pretty close. The recipe I came up with uses buttermilk, fresh corn cut from the cob and of course fresh lobster meat and is pretty easy to make.

I also added some lobster meat to a stir-fry I made recently. The lobster elevated an everyday stir fry to something special and, served over fresh lo mein noodles, the dish was a big hit.

Lobster Stir-Fry

1 1/2 pound lobster, steamed, shelled and chopped

16 oz. package fresh lo mein noodles, cooked according to package directions

1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

4 large carrots, peeled and matchstick cut

2 cups broccoli florets

1 small head of bok choy, chopped

1 cup snow peas

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1 Vidalia onion, sliced

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

3 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 cup vegetable stock

1 tablespoon cornstarch

First, make the sir fry sauce: add the sesame oil, rice vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and vegetable stock to a bowl and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the cornstarch and mix well, then set aside.

Set a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is slightly warmed, add olive oil and garlic. When the garlic starts to brown, add the carrots and onion and cook until slightly softened, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the broccoli, snow peas, bok choy, mushrooms and green peas and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown slightly.

Add the stir-fry sauce and lobster and cook for an additional one to two minutes, stirring well to coat. Serve over lo mein noodles and garnish with scallions before serving.

Lobster, Cod and Corn Chowder

1 1/2 to 2 pound lobster, steamed, shelled and meat chopped

1 1/2 pound bag small potatoes

1 1/2 pound cod, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons butter

5 stalks celery, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 ears fresh corn, steamed and corn cut from cobs

1 lemon, juiced and zested

1 1/2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Lobster Base

1 qt. vegetable broth

8 oz. bottle clam juice

1/2 cup scallions, chopped

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

Half and half, if desired, for serving

Add the butter to a stockpot and set over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the celery and onion and cook until the vegetables are softened. Add the lobster base, vegetable broth, clam juice and potatoes.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are softened. Add the corn, lemon juice and lemon zest, cod, lobster, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, pepper, rosemary and sage and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until the cod is cooked through.

To serve, add stew to serving bowls and stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of half and half, if desired, then garnish with scallions.

Lobster Corn Fritters

1 1/2 to 2 pound lobster, steamed, shelled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups meat)

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 cup fresh corn kernels, chopped

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 lemon, juiced and zested

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

Vegetable oil for frying

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning to a medium bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, buttermilk and egg. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the butter, scallions and lobster and mix well.

Heat oil in a fryer or deep frying pan. When the oil is heated, drop the batter in the oil by the heaping tablespoonful. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, then drain on paper towels. Season with additional salt and Old Bay Seasoning if desired.