It’s been a few months since I posted a new tapas recipe, probably because I had to cancel my month in Granada. However yesterday I decided to splurge and pick up some langoustines to make a popular Spanish tapa, Cigalas a la Plancha, or in English, grilled langoustines.
Like most Spanish tapas dishes, this one is extremely simple. You just need a few fresh ingredients and you’re good to go. These grilled langoustines are sauteed in a mixture of olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and lemon juice.
What Are Langoustines?
Langoustines, also called Norway Lobster or scampi, are a slim pink lobster. While they may look like shrimp with claws (I mean they kind of are) they are technically just very small lobsters. You can of course tell this when you eat them as they are much more buttery and sweet than a standard shrimp.
How To Make Spanish Style Grilled Langoustines
As mentioned earlier, this recipe is very simple. Just beat together (a mortar and pestle is great here, otherwise you can blitz in a blender) a mixture of olive oil, garlic, salt, and lemon juice and toss onto a hot pan (sans lemon juice this is technically a proper aioli – if fully emulsified). Then lay down the langoustines on their side. They only take about 2 minutes per side to cook. Remove, sprinkle with some coarse sea salt, garnish with lemon slices, and serve. Easy as tapas.
After you finish eating these delicious little lobsters, DO NOT throw away the shells. The head still has a ton of flavor (even if you try your hardest to suck it all out). I like to boil the carcasses along with the lemon slices for a good hour to get a langoustine stock which I use for my super decadent langoustine risotto.
Grilled Langoustines (Cigalas a la Plancha)
- 400 grams Langoustines about 10 langoustines.
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 pinch Salt large sea salt for finishing
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- Beat together the oil and garlic along with the salt and lemon juice until you get a sort of paste. This is best done with a mortar and pestle, but you can also blitz it in a bullet blender if you prefer.
- In a pan on high heat add the garlic oil mixture and then add in the langoustines. Cook them on each side about 2 minutes, then remove from the pan and plate. Drizzle over the hot oil/garlic mixture and sprinkle on a bit more flaky sea salt. Garnish with lemon slices.