Mexican Grilled Spiny Lobster with Garlic Sauce – Langosta Con Mojo De Ajo

Mexican Grilled Spiny Lobster

Langosta Con Mojo De Ajo

To most North Americans, lobster means Homarus americanus (Maine lobster), recognizable by its large meaty, claws. But elsewhere on the world’s barbecue trail, the lobster grilled most commonly belongs to a family of clawless lobsters (the Palinuridae) that includes Florida’s spiny lobster, France’s langouste, and South Africa’s rock lobster. What you lose in claw meat, you gain in tail meat (of which there’s more in a spiny lobster). And because the flesh of a spiny lobster is firmer and drier than Maine lobster, it holds up better when exposed to the heat of the fire. Note: Tradition calls for the lobster to be cut in half alive lengthwise—a process that, while humane in that it kills the lobster instantly—can be disconcerting if you’re not used to it. It’s also acceptable to parboil the lobster for 3 to 5 minutes, then cut the shellfish in half.

Grilled Spiny Lobster


Mexican Grilled Spiny Lobster with Garlic Sauce – Langosta Con Mojo De Ajo

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling


For the glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

For the garlic sauce:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro (or a mixture of both)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 4 spiny lobsters, each about 1 pound, or 2 two-pound lobsters

Recipe Steps

1: Make the glaze: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the Worchestershire sauce and lime juice and boil for 2 minutes. Set aside.

2: Make the garlic sauce: Heat the oil in saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, parsley, and cilantro (if using) and fry over medium heat until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and the lime juice and boil for 2 minutes. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.

3: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

4: Using a large chef’s knife, cut each lobster in half lengthwise. The easiest way to do this is the plunge the knife between the eyes, holding the lobster steady with a dishcloth. Just to prepare you, if the lobster is alive, it will twitch like crazy, even though the first cut severs the spinal cord, killing the creature instantly. If you find this disconcerting, you may wish to boil the lobster for 3 to 5 minutes first.

5: Brush the cut side of the lobsters with the half glaze and season with salt and pepper.

6: Arrange the lobster halves cut side down on the grill running diagonal to the bars of the grate. Grill until the cut side is lightly browned, about 4 minutes, giving each lobster a quarter turn after 2 minutes to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks.

7: Turn the lobsters over and grill shell side down until the lobster meat is cooked through, another 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the size of the lobster. Baste the lobster with the remaining glaze as it grills. When the lobster is cooked, the meat will be firm and white. Do not overcook.

8: Transfer the lobster to plates or a platter. Spoon some of the garlic sauce over the grilled lobsters and serve the remainder on the side.

Recipe Tips

The glaze and garlic sauce work equally well for grilled shrimp or fish. For the former, thread 1-1/2 pounds shelled shrimp onto skewers. For the latter, grill fish steaks or fillets. Glaze and sauce as described above.