Langoustine lobster is a great pescatarian staple and the easiest way to create a restaurant quality meal in a flash. The delicate flavor of the lesser known lobster meat adds a special touch to our home cooked masterpieces, without eating up our entire food budget. So meet your new favorite fancy at-home dish, langoustine lobster risotto!
This creamy risotto is one of my favorite langoustine recipes because it feels like something you would only eat on special occasions, but it’s weirdly simple and worth the stirring time for any seafood lover. The asparagus and lime zest add so much fresh flavor to this ultra rich and creamy dish of carbs. You don’t want to skip the green stuff!
If you’re intimidated by risotto, don’t be! Buy a bag of arborio rice (very inexpensive) and follow the instructions below, you’ll have a creamy, delicious dish on the table before you can even finish your new Brene Brown podcast episode.
If you’ve never tried it, langoustine lobster, sometimes called squat lobster (how distressing), is a small crustacean reminiscent of a prawn or crawfish. The succulent langoustine tail meat is the most often used part of the langoustine, and offers an inexpensive alternative to the large lobster tails or prawns we all know and love.
If you’re looking for langoustine meat, I’ve seen packages of cooked langoustine tails at Trader Joe and at Costco. Or you can purchase whole langoustines, boil them for about 3 minutes, cool, and crack open to get the tail meat. If buying whole langoustines, note that I used about two pounds of whole langoustines to get 8-10 ounces of tail meat for this recipe.
What you’ll need to make creamy langoustine lobster risotto with asparagus and lime:
- Butter and extra virgin olive oil
- Arborio rice
- Langoustine lobster tails
- Fresh asparagus
- Fresh chives
- Mascarpone cheese
- Lime zest
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Lobster stock or shellfish stock
Step by step instructions for making seafood risotto with asparagus and lime :
In a medium pot, heat the lobster or shellfish stock and keep warm for the risotto cooking process.
While it is heating, clean and snap the ends off the asparagus, then cut on the bias in 1-inch spears. Steam or sauté gently for 5 minutes until just cooked, but still crisp. Set aside.
If using already cooked langoustine tails, remove from packaging and dry well on paper towels. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator before drying on paper towels.
In a large, wide saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter in the oil over medium heat. Add the finely diced shallot to the oil and melted butter and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add a large pinch of salt, then add the arborio rice and stir constantly for 1 minute .
The goal is to coat every grain of rice in the oil and butter mixture before beginning to add the stock and cook the risotto through.
Now, add 1 cup of broth and simmer, stirring until the broth is almost completely absorbed.
This is what the risotto looked like after absorbing the first cup of liquid. Add more broth, a cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next.
Stir often. Cook until the rice is tender but still al dente, and the mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes.
Stir in the langoustine meat and the cooked asparagus pieces until both are just heated through.
Serve immediately with remaining Parmesan, a bit of lime zest and additional fresh chives. I like to include a lime wedge so I can squeeze some lime juice over the risotto right before eating.
FAQ’s and Tips for making this creamy risotto dish:
Absolutely. I recommend slicing the lobster tail (like a pork tenderloin) and serving it over the finished risotto. You could add other pescatarian options to the risotto as well – shrimp, crab or monkfish would be delicious. Or all three to make a seafood trio risotto.
What else can I do with langoustine lobster meat?
There are so many langoustine lobster recipes to keep your culinary creativity going. From lobster rolls to langoustine ceviche, langoustine mac and cheese recipe with a simple cheese sauce, even langoustine lobster tacos. You could add them to sushi rolls – I’ve found temaki hand rolls are the easiest to make and stuff at home. You have endless options to create langoustine pastas – my current favorite would be adding al dente rigatoni to a pan of brown butter (bonus points if you have a little truffle butter!), caramelized mushrooms and shallots with the cooked langoustine tails and a pinch of red pepper flakes
The fresh asparagus helps this risotto offer the option of a one-dish meal, complete with seafood, carbs, veggies and sauce. If you’re looking to serve a fuller meal, the best choices for sides are all light and fresh with a touch of vinegar or lemon juice to cut the richness of the creamy, rich risotto. Tossed green salads or even a refreshing gazpacho tomato salad bring the perfect balancing touch to this date night dinner. And of course I wouldn’t be mad if you served a few hunks of crusty bread.
The sky’s the limit! Fresh green beans would be ideal – lightly cooked in the same fashion as the asparagus. Fresh or frozen green peas, red bell peppers, green onions, red onions, or even zucchini would all do the trick in adding freshness and color to the dish.
For pescatarians, any fish stock or veggie stock will work. If you’re cooking for non-pescatarians, chicken stock is a good substitute.
Crème fraiche is probably the best substitute, but cream cheese or sour cream will also work. Heavy cream could also be used to add the creamy texture to the rice dish, but be flexible and add a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.