How to Cook Lobster Tails
Lobster tails make a real treat and, when cooked right, you can expect a succulent, tasty result with plenty of ocean flavor. Learning how to cook lobster tails is straightforward and the results are impressive. These little delicacies might not be the cheapest type of seafood in the store (far from it, usually) but once it in a while it is nice to spoil yourself to a lobster tails recipe. Buying the tails is cheaper than buying a whole lobster, and they’re easier to prepare and eat too.
I spotted some of these on sale just after Christmas. Of course we had a full-to-bursting refrigerator then (who doesn’t?) but they were frozen, so into the freezer they went. When I felt like cooking them, I thawed them overnight in the fridge and then started researching the best recipes for them.
The two times I’d had lobster tails before were memorable. Once was in Gran Canaria and they were caught fresh that morning (it pays to have fishermen as friends!) and char-grilled, and the second time was on the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship and those were boiled. I wanted to know how to cook lobster tails so I could make them any time.
The first ones were best because they were fresh not frozen, but it is possible to cook lobster tails from frozen, and end up with an impressive result. So the first thing to do is plan ahead. If you start thawing them now, you can have them for tomorrow evening’s dinner.
How Many Lobster Tails per Person?
Part of learning how to cook lobster tails is knowing the quantities you need. One large lobster tail per person is reasonable if you’re having another protein, like steak, on the side (for a surf ‘n turf) – else you might want a couple if they are smaller or if you’re hungry.
I could probably eat three but I’m like that with seafood! I just love it! Lobsters vary in color but mine were an orange-red with lots of dark spots and dark bits on. They changed color as they cooked which is very handy for telling when they are done. When they look cooked, they are cooked.
I only bought one package of two because there are two of us and I figured one each would be enough (at that price) and I didn’t know if they were going to be any good anyway. Fortunately they were amazing but unfortunately the store doesn’t sell them any more (doh!) so I wish I’d got extra at the time.
What to Serve with Lobster Tails
So now you know how to cook lobster tails, but what will you serve with them? I melted some butter for mine and cut some lemon wedges. Then I prepared a nice salad on the side so all the focus would be on the lobster. You could have something else though, such as steamed green asparagus tips, a nice broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce (OK that is a bit heavy perhaps) or what about some couscous with fresh herbs? If you’re having this as an appetizer instead of an entree, then just have it on some salad leaves so you have some color on the plate. When making this, I brought some water to a boil, added some salt, and then popped the pair of lobster tails in there.
Within minutes they’d turned pinkish red and the meat was succulent. I love that you can see when they’re done by keeping an eye on the color change. They were then ready to serve and they were gorgeous! The slower you thaw lobster tails (ie overnight) the fresher they will taste when you serve them.
There are other ways to cook lobster tails of course, like broiling and baking, but boiling is so simple, why not begin with this recipe? The tails will be moist so you will like them, and once you are confident with this particular cooking method you can try others. I would use this recipe again but I haven’t seen any lobster tails in my local store recently, which is unfortunate because they are seriously good! Now you know how to cook lobster tails, it’s your turn!
- 2 fully thawed lobster tails
- Melted butter, to serve
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt.
- Add the lobster tails.
- Simmer then until they are done.
- Count on them taking between 4 and 10 minutes depending on size.
- When the shell changes color and the meat turns from glossy to opaque, the tails are ready.
- Let them cool for 5 minutes, then use sharp scissors to cut down the shell, so you can pull the meat out.
- Put the meat back in the shell and serve with the melted butter and lemon wedges.