When are langoustines in season?
Langoustines generally come into season in September, all the way until May. Proper langoustines come from the north-eastern part of the Atlantic ocean - in Scotland, or around Norway and Iceland.
Where can I buy langoustines from?
Your best bet is to go to your local fishmonger or look online for a reputable delivery service like The Fish Society. Some supermarkets like Sainsbury’s do stock Scottish langoustines.
Most langoustines are usually sold frozen, ready prepared, making them much easier to cook. They’re naturally pinky-orange in colour and turn a paler pink when cooked.
But if you’re buying langoustines live you want to check for shiny jet-black eyes, and the legs and antennae shouldn’t be damaged. It’s also important that the shells aren’t marked, and the langoustine are displaying quick and lively movements.
And it goes without saying, but whenever buying seafood like this, always make sure you get fresh sea smells.
How to prepare langoustines:
If you’re use pre-prepared, frozen langoustines there’s nothing you need to do other than thaw them (you can cook from frozen if boiling). However, if you’re working with live langoustine, you want to put them in the freezer for an hour or so before boiling them in well-salted water.
Fresh langoustines taste amazing with just a squeeze of lemon, but can also be added to a number of dishes. If you wish you can also deep-fry them a la scampi style, or even eaten cooked and cold in a salad.
How to cook langoustines:
How to boil langoustines:
Bring a large pan of generously salted water to a rolling boil.
Add the langoustines, in batches if necessary, and cook for 1 ½ - 2 minutes from fresh or 3 to 4 minutes from frozen, taking care not to overcook them or overcrowd the pan.
You can tell langoustines are ready when the flesh has turned white on the underside of the tail.
How to fry langoustines:
Heat 2tbsp vegetable oil in a large frying pan.
Once hot, add the langoustines in a single layer and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a knob of butter and cook for another two minutes.
Finish with a sprinkling of chopped flat leaf parsley.
How to BBQ langoustines:
Blanche langoustines in a pan of boiling, generously salted water for about 20 seconds. Remove from pan and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Remove heads (you can save these for stock!) and use a small, sharp knife to neaten the langoustine meat.
Remove the rest of the shell and the dark intestinal tract along the length of each tail.
Stick langoustine tails onto water-soaked skewers and brush with a BBQ sauce of your choice. Cook over a barbecue about two minutes on each side.