From frying them and grilling them to cooking them in the oven
Langoustines are very tasty lobsters and a delicious delicacy. In Southern Europe and Asia people even eat the head of the langoustine, which is also seen as the tastiest part.
Langoustines are easy to cook and look great on the table. This seafood is definitely worth trying. Read more about these animals and how you can easily cook them here.
Table of contents
What are langoustines?
Langoustines are also called Norwegian lobsters in the Netherlands and Belgium. They are relatives of the spiny lobster, but resemble lobsters in appearance. These orange-colored lobsters have a white underside and are rather long and slender compared to other lobster species. The langoustine is often confused with the large shrimp, the gamba.
Langoustines are also called Norwegian lobsters in the Netherlands and Belgium. They are relatives of the spiny lobster, but resemble lobsters in appearance. These orange-colored lobsters have a white underside and are rather long and slender compared to other lobster species. The langoustine is often confused with the large prawn, the king prawn.
Langoustines are placed in the category of decapod crustaceans. They have long, thinly stretched pincers and protruding spines and feelers on their heads. They can reach a length of 15 to 25 cm.
The mouth of a langoustine is sharp and long and contains 3 to 4 teeth on both sides, the bottom normally contains only 1 or 2 teeth. The male langoustines grow faster than the females and live up to 10 years. The female langoustines grow a little slower and live for a maximum of 20 years.
The langoustine can burrow in sandy and muddy bottoms to a depth of 800 meters. However, most langoustines live at a depth of between 50 to 300 meters in an underground tunnel system in the soft parts of the bottom. They only leave their home to look for food, to defend their den and to mate.
By doing this, the langoustines can escape the ruthless predators. The females hide in this shelter during the laying of the eggs and the hatching of the larvae. This occurs from late summer or early fall to late spring or early summer of the following year. Here, they are not only safe from other animals, but also from fishermen.
Langoustines remain in a permanent residence throughout their lives and do not migrate. These crustaceans are one of the most delicious seafood delicacies. In Italy the langoustines are called scampi and in the British Isles they are called Dublin prawns.
Where do langoustines come from?
Langoustines are found in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, around Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands up to Northwest Africa and in the Mediterranean Sea.
Fishing for this crustacean takes place mainly in the summer months when they come out of their burrows to reproduce and forage for food to build up their energy reserves. The catch is optimal then.
Traditionally, langoustines are caught with light trawl nets. You can recognize the langoustine fishermen by the net drums hanging at the back of the ship.
You can enjoy langoustines all year round. The peak period for the supply runs from summer to early autumn.
How do langoustines taste?
The white fish meat of the langoustine is juicy, slightly sweet and lean. Because they already have a soft, sweet taste, langoustines don’t need much extra.
Are langoustines healthy?
Langoustines contain a lot of protein and healthy fats that have a good effect on the heart and blood vessels and have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
Langoustines contain a lot of calcium, phosphorus and iron, which contribute to building muscles, healthy skin and strong bones. Due to their high phosphorus content, langoustines also stimulate brain activity.
Food & wine
A refined white wine, such as burgundy from Beaune, a Chassagne-Montrachet or a Puligny-Montrachet, goes well with langoustine. A salty white Pessac-Léognan will also pair well with this dish, as will a Chablis (premier or grand cru level).
How to cook langoustines?
Langoustines only need to be cooked or fried for a short time, otherwise the meat will become too tough. The scissors themselves contain little meat but are very tasty. When cooking them, leave the heads attached to the body, because this contains the most flavor. The cooking liquid is a good base for soups and sauces, and if you don’t use it right away you can always freeze it.
You can also stir-fry the langoustines, cook them in the oven or on the barbecue. Or just in the pan with some olive oil, butter, garlic, parsley and basil. Langoustines are perfect to combine with fish, crustaceans and shellfish. They are an ideal addition to casseroles, if only because of their beautiful color.
Langoustines cannot be kept as long as, for example, lobster or crab. So, freeze them right away if you won’t be cooking them on the day you bought them.
Reserve 500 grams per person when cooking langoustines.
This is how you can easily peel langoustines:
- Turn the head and tail of the langoustine. If you do this carefully, the intestinal tract will come along.
- Crack the armor between your fingers and peel this to the side from the belly side.
- The meat should now come off easily. If there is still some intestinal tract left behind, you can remove it now.
You can cook langoustines in a very simple way:
- Bring a pan of water and stock cubes to a boil.
- Add the langoustines and some vegetables and herbs.
- Boil the langoustines for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Leave the heads on, because that’s where most of the flavor is.
- Let them cool in the cooking liquid.
- The cooking liquid is a good basis for soups and sauces.
- You can also use the langoustines in other dishes, such as paella, fried rice, lasagna or in a summer salad.
If you want to fry langoustines, you do this at a high temperature. Once you’ve cleaned the langoustines, make sure you leave the tail on. This is a tender piece of meat. Because you leave the tail attached, it has less heat to process.
- Heat a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- When it is hot, put the langoustines in the pan.
- Bake them for about 1.5 minutes.
- Bake only the top and season the bottom with pepper.
- The langoustines should not be fried, the bottom of the tail should still be glassy (raw).
- Cut the claws of the langoustines in half and fry them with the tails.
Make sure that the barbecue is hot.
- Brush the cleaned and halved langoustines with olive oil and herbs.
- Grill them very briefly, about 2 minutes, with the shell side down on the barbecue.
- Season them with a pinch of salt.
- Turn the langoustines for a few more seconds and then remove them immediately.
In the oven
If you want to cook langoustines in the oven, do this at a medium temperature.
- Clean the langoustines and cut them in half lengthwise.
- Make a marinade of olive oil and herbs such as oregano, basil, chili flakes and parsley.
- Toss the langoustines in the marinade and let them marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Mix them well every half hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
- Place the marinated langoustines, flesh side up, on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and let the langoustines cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- They are then evenly white and no longer translucent.
Recipe: Grilled Langoustines with lime butter
Grilled Langoustines with lime butter
- 8 langoustines
- 75 grams butter salted
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chives finely chopped
- black pepper freshly ground
- fleur de sel
- Preheat the barbecue for direct grilling and heat it to about 180 degrees.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the juice and zest of half a lime. Cut the rest of the lime into wedges.
- Add chives and parsley to the butter and season generously with freshly grounded black pepper.
- Cut the langoustines in half lengthwise with a razor-sharp knife and remove the hard stomach pouch from both sides of the head.
- Remove the intestinal tract from the tail with a pointed knife.
- Place the langoustines on a platter cut-side up and pour the lime butter generously on top of it.
- Place them shell-side down on the grill grate directly above the coals and allow to heat thoroughly for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the grill, place on a platter and serve with the lime wedges. Serve immediately.
Looking for more inspiration? Then see below more recipes with halibut. Or check our fish recipes for even more inspiration.