Icelandic lobster is one of the best delicacies you can try while travelling around Iceland. Tender, mouth-watering, a real treat for all senses. It’s worth splashing out on it. Check out our recipe for grilled Icelandic lobster tails with sea-flavoured dip.
Icelandic lobster or langoustine?
We love to cook, discover new flavours and get to know different secrets of various cuisines. During our travels, we always search for new cooking inspirations and local delicacies. When we came to Iceland for the first time, we immediately noticed something, which we had never seen before. It later turned out that it’s Icelandic lobster, a real treat. Now when we are on the island we simply can’t resist eating a reasonable portion of Icelandic lobster tails. We just wish they weren’t so expensive.
Icelandic lobster can scare away not only with its price but also, if you are more sensitive, with its appearance. Everything because of claws, which give it a bit dangerous look. If the claws don’t scare you off, then a real treat awaits you.
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If you haven’t had a chance to try Icelandic lobster, don’t hesitate to give it a go. Believe us, when well prepared, it is simply mouth-watering. Because of its slightly sweet taste and delicate texture, it has been considered as an aphrodisiac for centuries.
You have to know that Icelandic lobster is really not a lobster, but a langoustine. Since there are no real lobsters in Icelandic waters, Icelanders started to call that way langoustines which are similar in taste. In Icelandic they are called leturhumarinn (s. leturhumar), but they often drop the prefix letur. That’s why Icelanders usually call it lobster (humar), and under this name, you can find it in most restaurant menus. So that we all know what we are talking about, that’s the Latin name: Nephrops norvegicus.
Where to try Icelandic lobster
Before we began to prepare langoustines ourselves, we wanted to know how Icelanders do it. We had our first encounter with Icelandic lobster in Saegreifinn (The Sea Baron) restaurant in Reykjavik, where we tasted lobster soup. This tiny restaurant is quite legendary. You can try there many fish and seafood delicacies from Icelandic waters, and their prices are unbeatable. Just remember that it’s not a place for romantic dinner. It’s more like a crowded seafood fast food bar than a regular restaurant.
The owners boast that they serve the best lobster soup in Iceland. And it’s definitely not a gasconade without any ground. There has to be something to it, as we always go in for a hearty bowl, whenever we are in Reykjavik. Lobster soup with curry is something, which can easily cheer you up even on the coldest and most windy day.
We had another encounter with Icelandic lobster in Höfn, which is the lobster capital of Iceland. This town located in South-East Iceland is famous for its fantastic lobster all over Iceland. You can try excellent langoustines at Humarhöfnin restaurant. The menu is full of delicacies. We especially loved their classic – grilled langoustines with butter, garlic and parsley.
Later we made friends with an Icelandic couple, Alda and Baldur. They knew our soft spot for langoustines and they prepared them sometimes when we visited them. Often they appeared as a forréttur, i.e. starter, before the main dish. Other time they played the main role. Icelanders love to delight in them during babecue meetings in the summer.
Our version of Icelandic lobster
Icelandic lobster doesn’t need much to reveal its fantastic taste. Without much work, it can easily transform an ordinary meal into a culinary top-notch experience. Anyway, we decided to serve the lobster tails with something original. We wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t experiment a little. We prepared a dip made of truly Icelandic ingredients – skyr, lemon zest and dried sugar kelp. It brings out the sea character of the dish even more. Besides, it’s fresh and citrus flavour goes really well with the langoustines.
In Iceland, it’s not difficult to find ideal langoustines. And remember that not only fresh langoustines taste so good. We are totally satisfied with its frozen version. You can find frozen Icelandic lobster tails in most supermarkets. To get fresh langoustines away from Reykjavik you would have to get to know some fishermen.
Don’t worry if you have no experience with preparing seafood dishes. It’s very easy. Even a complete novice would manage. The only thing you have to remember is not to overcook the langoustines. If you keep them too long on the grill, they will become chewy.
Grilled Iceland lobster tails
- 4-5 Iceland lobster tails per person
- olive oil
- natural skyr
- lemon wedge
- dried sugar kelp (Devil’s apron)
- sea salt
- fresh ground white pepper
- half tsp mustard
| Icelandic lobster
- If frozen, defrost Icelandic lobster tails, rinse and dry off with a paper towel.
- Oil with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and fresh ground white pepper.
- Grill for around 2-3 min on both sides.
- Serve immediately after grilling. It tastes best with a slice of fresh bread, salad and a glass of white wine.
| Sea-flavoured skyr dip
- Mix skyr with mayo in a ratio 2:1.
- Squeeze lemon wedge, add mustard, a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
- Crumb sugar kelp into tiny pieces.Add one teaspoon to the dip.
- Mix thorougly.
Grilled Icelandic lobster tails are a feast for all senses. If you once try this Icelandic delicacy, remember that it’s quite addctive. Enjoy!
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