The word “luxury” conjures up images of certain ingredients. You can think of caviar, lobster, truffles, and Champagne as examples.
We’ll take a look at some of the luxury ingredients that seawater is known for. It will inspire you to find the very best food and discover why your favourite chefs love it so much.
Let’s start with langoustines, the sweetest of all seafood.
What’s a langoustine? Is it a lobster or a prawn?
Langoustines are sometimes confused with prawns because of their appearance and colour, but their claws look like lobster claws. There are other names for the langoustine, such as the Dublin Bay Prawn and the Norway Lobster! Fortunately, classifications can be of assistance to us.
Langoustines (Nephrops norvegicus) indeed belong to the lobster family. Compared to European lobsters (Homarus gammarus), their bodies are slimmer and lighter orange in raw form. In the case of shrimps and prawns, those are in one family, while langoustines and lobsters belong to a different family.
Formerly served with breadcrumbs as scampi, nowadays the Dublin Bay Prawns are popular with foodies because of their tasty meat, similar to lobster, which they are often served on gourmet menus.
Cold water is ideal for langoustines, which are plentiful in Scottish lakes. It is estimated that about a third of all langoustines caught worldwide come from Scotland, but many of them are exported abroad.
Langoustines are most popular in France and Spain, referred to as cigalas.
Alternatives to lobster
Similar to oysters in 19th century London, langoustines were inexpensive and plentiful for decades before gradually becoming a higher-end item. Langoustines are gaining popularity today and are increasingly seen on the menus of upscale restaurants. In the world of haute cuisine, langoustines are the latest trend.
As langoustines die, their flesh turns dark, slimy, and unpalatable as they ‘auto consume’. Although it is possible to transport live langoustines, it is an arduous task since they can become distressed and lose the quality of their meat. Restaurants have to pay high transportation costs for high-quality fresh langoustines.
Despite their higher price per pound, lobsters produce comparatively little meat, which makes langoustines even more appealing. Compared to lobsters, langoustine meat is more subtle, savoury, and sophisticated.
Buy Langoustine from us!
Langoustines come in varying sizes, small, medium, large, raw and whole. Frozen langoustines are packed with 700g of shellfish per box. There will be approximately 17-20 small langoustines in a small box, in comparison to 6-7 langoustines in a large box, but they’ll all be big and meaty.
Langoustines can be bought in whatever size is appropriate to the occasion, whether as starters or as main dishes.
According to your desired outcome, you can cook langoustines in a straightforward or complicated manner. It’s a summertime winner to cook langoustines on the BBQ for a few minutes ( cut them in half lengthwise and cook them facing up ), giving them a slightly smoky taste.
When frying or poaching langoustines, you will need to peel the plump, succulent tails first. Blanching them long enough in boiling water will allow their exterior flesh to firm up and make them easier to peel without overcooking them.
You can do this by blanching the langoustines in boiling heavily salted water for a few seconds, removing them from the large pan, and then plunging them into iced water. To crack the shell, remove the head and claws, then turn the belly inward. Remove the black intestinal tract by using a small sharp knife underneath and peeling away the shells.
Cook the langoustines either in a sauce, soup, or stock or pan-fry them in butter until opaque.
Langoustines and what goes with them
Lobster’s sweet taste is similar to langoustine’s. You can prepare langoustine ravioli with orange-braised endive and serve it with basic flavours to bring out its delicate essence.
Quite often, langoustines are served alongside pork. Innovatively, pork cuts can be paired with this exquisite shellfish in a salad. Historically, Spain and Italy regarded these crustaceans in high regard. For a heavenly bite, sandwich a lump of pan-fried tail meat in bacon or ham.
They can also be paired with the savoury flavour of a rabbit, especially when topped with crispy garlic and Parmesan shavings. Alternatively, you can try the refreshing grilled langoustine recipe, in which the shells of the langoustine are used to make a bisque, then paired with the succulent flesh flavoured with rich seaweed butter and tangy fennel.