How to Season Lobster Tails

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Drizzle generously with a chili paste sauce for Thai-inspired lobster.
Drizzle generously with a chili paste sauce for Thai-inspired lobster. (Image: Casper1774Studio/iStock/Getty Images)

Subtlety is the key to achieving perfectly seasoned lobster tails that complement rather than overwhelm the crustacean’s light, sweet flavor. Season simply by adding wine or stock to the cooking liquid or by sprinkling sparingly with salt and pepper as the lobster cooks. Introduce bolder flavors when serving, by pairing with a creamy, citrus-kissed aioli; drizzling with a bright herbed butter; or accompanying with a ginger soy dipping sauce.

Broiled/Oven-Roasted Lobster Tails

Roasting or broiling lobster tails shell-on protects the delicate meat from the heat and promotes even cooking. Seasoning opportunities are best post-cooking. Pair broiled or roasted lobster with a bold wasabi mayo or a ginger sherry soy sauce. While the lobster tails cook, prepare a red wine reduction on the stove top or whip up a delicate saffron and vanilla butter sauce. Drizzle finished lobster tails with a lemon mint butter or a white wine vinegar and basil vinaigrette before serving.

Steamed/Boiled Lobster Tails

Steamed or boiled lobster preparations present an opportunity for seasoning via the liquid they are cooked with. Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, chives and/or basil; toss in a few bay leaves; or season the water generously with Old Bay seasoning or garlic salt. Instead of water, try using stock; chicken, fish, veal and vegetable are all great options. Or try adding a hearty pour of a dry white wine such as a riesling to the cooking liquid. Dress up the flavor of boiled or steamed lobster tails with a cilantro parsley pesto or a lemon-pepper butter sauce.

Grilled Lobster Tails

Grilling imparts a pleasant smokiness to lobster tails that can be further highlighted with the right seasonings. A touch of acidity via a citrus-herbed butter or vinaigrette is the perfect accompaniment. Drizzle grilled lobster with a champagne vinegar and garlic tarragon vinaigrette or a lemon thyme chive butter sauce. Heat things up with a lime and chili powder butter dipping sauce or cool it down by pairing grilled lobster with a creamy coriander mayo.

Stuffed Lobster Tails

While other methods call for cooking lobster in-shell, stuffed lobster presents an opportunity to remove and season the meat before returning it to the shell. Blanching the lobster tail whole for a few minutes in boiling water is recommended for food safety reasons. After blanching, remove the lobster from the shell and either keep whole or roughly chop into smaller pieces. Season with herbs such as lemon grass, parsley, cilantro or chervil along with a squirt of lemon or lime juice; or sprinkle with a few dashes of cumin or curry powder. Briefly saute in butter or olive oil and return to the shell along with ingredients such as Parmesan cheese or breadcrumbs for a pleasing presentation.

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