When many talk about eating lobster, the first picture that comes to mind is those big lobsters with its big claws. If you are in the Northern part of the United States, this would be true but in the Southern part of the United States the Mediterranean. or the Caribbean their mind focuses on the spiny lobster. The one difference between this lobster and the one from the Northern United States is that this one has no claws, but that is not the only difference. The one thing they do have in common is that they taste good and can be used in a variety of delicious recipes.
What are Spiny Lobsters?
These are often referred to as spinies and are found in the Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean subtropical waters, and the Caribbean Sea. It does have the large antennae that are used to scare off any predator by emitting a weird scary sound. It is also brightly spotted. The spiny lobster tails are usually sold frozen. There is larger, yet similar spiny lobster that is from California that is caught by hand or in traps and kept alive in a tank to be sold fresh.
What Do Spiny Lobsters Taste Like?
With no claw or knuckle meat like their larger counterparts, the spiny lobster is a bit on the firm side with medium sweetness. Where the lobster comes from also affects the taste. For example, the ones from the Caribbean are a bit sweeter while the ones from the Mediterranean taste a bit brinier. If you happen to get a female, the tomalley, which is the green stuff in their cavity, and the roe adds richness to the flavor. The ones from California have a bit of saltiness and sweetness.
Cooking a Spiny Lobster
If you get an entire lobster use the meat in many different recipes; lobster sauce for pasta to lobster for salad. Traditionally these lobster tails are grilled and then lightly coated with butter. You can even roast or steam them. Spiny lobsters work great with recipes that have pronounced ingredients and spices. You can use the meat in soups, stews, and rice dishes. Make sure when you are taking the meat from the lobsters that you do not forget the tasty pieces from the end of the antennas and the little strips of lobster in the tail flippers. You can also use the legs and body to make stock to make soup or bases.
Favorite Spiny Lobster Recipes
Fried Spiny Lobster Fritters
These are great for appetizers or snacks at a pool party or while watching a movie. All you need is either a deep fryer or a pot large enough to hold the oil to cook the fritters.
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- One-fourth teaspoons of each salt and paprika
- 1 beaten egg
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 ½ cups of minced cooked lobster meal
Heat the oil in the deep fryer to 370 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir all the dry ingredients together and then mix in the egg and milk. Once mixed add in the lobster meat. After all is blended, drop by a teaspoon or ice cream scoop into the hot oil and fry for about 4- 6 minutes until golden brown. You can keep them warm as you fix the rest in a 200-degree oven.
You can serve with tartar sauce or basil or truffle-herb mayonnaise.
Herb-grilled Spiny Lobster Tails
- Four one and a half pound spiny lobsters
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as basil, tarragon, rosemary, etc.
- 1 stick butter cut into 8 pieces
- 1 cup clarified butter
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and the grill to high. Split your lobsters from the top; remove intestines, and rinse the head area in cold water to get rid of any waste matter. Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and all of the chopped herbs and garlic and set aside. Brush your cleaned lobsters with the remaining olive oil and grill for about 5 minutes with the meaty side down. Turn over halfway to make sure it is cooked. Remove and put on a sheet pan with the meaty side up. Cover with herb and garlic mixture and season with salt and pepper. On each lobster put two pats of butter and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Mix the clarified butter with lemon juice and drizzle as a sauce.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
- One and a half pound bite-sized chunks of Florida Lobster
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1-quart whole milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- One-half cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- One and a half cup fresh breadcrumbs
- One-half teaspoon of each nutmeg and pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put on the water to boil the macaroni. Heat the milk in a saucepan and in another pan melt 6 tablespoons of butter and then add flour. Cook over low heat until it thickens, stirring it with a whisk. Slowly add in warm milk, stirring while doing it. Take off heat and add cheeses, then add in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix in macaroni and lobster with the cheese sauce and then pour in a large casserole dish. Brown 2 tablespoons of butter and bread crumbs and top casserole; cook 30-35 minutes until bubbly and top is brown.
When getting spiny lobster, consider the ones from the United States, Australia, and Mexico because they support sustainable seafood. Try to avoid buying ones from the Caribbean as they are being overfished. As you can see, the taste of the two lobsters is similar in taste but the main difference is that the spiny lobster has no claws so you are missing the meat from those areas. You can also use the meat in the same way in your recipes. Grab some spiny lobster and try your hand at one of these delicious spiny lobster recipes.