Eating Sustainably: Lobster Tacos

Written by on November 7, 2014 in Marine Life

Editor’s Note — In this monthly series, Eating Sustainably, we will feature delicious recipes for sustainable seafood created by chef and author Victoria Allman. To remain consistent, we will use only seafood listed as “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

By Victoria Allman, author of SEAsoned: A Chef’s Journey with Her Captain

Caribbean spiny lobster. Photo credit: NOAA.

Caribbean spiny lobster. Photo credit: NOAA.

The spiny lobster differs from Maine lobster as it has no claws. The meat is slightly chewier than its northern cousin but is just as tasty. It is found the tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Like the name suggests, their bodies have spines along the length of the tail that protect them from predators and make it difficult and painful to clean the sweet meat out of their shells. A spiny lobster matures for at least two years before it is legal size for catching. They cower under rocks and in crevices in the coral and generally hide during the day before coming out at night to walk across the ocean floor in search of food.

Spiny Lobsters that are diver-caught in Mexico are on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List as the Best Choice, Bahamas and Florida are a Good Alternative.

Lobster Tacos

Lobster Tacos. Photo courtesy of Victoria Allman.

Lobster Tacos. Photo courtesy of Victoria Allman.

6 lobster tails
1 gallon water
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 head of romaine, sliced thin
12 corn tortillas

Herb Mix:
1 bunch cilantro
2 green onions
3 limes, zested
2 drops hot sauce
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
2 limes, juiced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 drop hot sauce

In a large pot, bring the water and sea salt to a boil. Add lobster tails and boil for 1 minute. Drain and cool the tails. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While cooling, mix the herb mixture together in a food processor until it is chopped into a paste. With cooking shears, gently cut down both sides of the lobster “bellies”, removing the soft cartilage. Gently pull the tail away from the shell in one piece. Reserve the “top” of the shell and place on a baking tray, forming a boat to cook the lobster in. Place the tails right side up on a cutting board and cut a parallel slot down the center of the tail one-quarter of the way through. Open up the top of the tail, like a book. Spoon the herb mix into the tails evenly, making sure you fill the newly made slot.

Place tail back in its shell and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and slice.

Whisk all the ingredients for the cilantro lime yogurt sauce together.

Place the corn tortillas in the warm oven for 3 minutes.

Serve everything in bowls, family style, for people to build their own tacos by filling the warm tortillas with lobster, lettuce, and sauce.

Serve with lime Caesar salad, Margaritas and chips and salsa.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

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