Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Morton Bay Bugs with Ginger-Mint Butter

Recipe from Steven Raichlen's The Barbecue! Bible


  • Method: Direct grilling
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  • 4 lobster tails (8 to 9 ounces each), thawed if frozen, or 4 live Maine lobsters (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Step 1: Preheat the grill to high.

Step 2: If using lobster tails, cut them in half lengthwise with kitchen scissors or a sharp, heavy knife; use a fork to remove the intestinal vein running the length of the tail. If using live lobsters, kill each by inserting a sharp knife in the back of the head between the eyes; this will dispatch them instantly. (Alternatively, bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot with a lid. Add the lobsters, cover the pot tightly, and boil for 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the lobsters to a platter and let cool. Then cut in half and grill as directed.)

Step 3: Cut the lobsters in half lengthwise and remove the vein and the papery gray sac from the head. Break off the claws and crack with a nutcracker. Set the lobsters or tails aside while you prepare the ginger-mint butter.

Step 4: Melt the butter in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the mint, ginger, garlic, and lime zest and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the mixture is fragrant, but not brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice and bring to a boil; then remove from the heat.

Step 5: Brush the cut sides of the lobster tails or lobsters with the ginger-mint butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 6: When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Arrange the lobster halves or tails and claws (if any) cut sides down on the hot grate and grill for 6 to 8 minutes. Turn, using tongs, and grill on the shell sides until the flesh is firm and white, 6 to 8 minutes more, brushing generously several times with the butter as the lobsters cook.

Step 7: Transfer the lobsters to serving plates or a platter and pour any remaining butter over them. Serve immediately.

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