Caribbean Belize loves its lobster – so much so that a number of its towns even host annual festivals to celebrate it! If you can’t make it to LobsterFest in Placencia, Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker, fear not, as we’ve brought you our own version of a classic Belizean dish. The subtle coconut in this fresh and tasty recipe is a classic flavour of the Caribbean and we hope it will transport you, metaphorically at least, to sunnier climes for an evening.
- Prep: 20 minutes
- Cook: 45 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- Recipe serves: 2
- 2 medium-sized live lobsters
- 1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
- ½ leek, thinly sliced
- ½ cup of fresh chopped tomato (de-skinned)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Butter or olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of paprika
- Fresh parsley to garnish
- Plunge the tip of a sharp knife straight down just behind the eyes of each lobster (in the space between the back of the head and the carapace) to cut the spinal cord and humanely kill the animal, then carefully remove the meat from the shells. Reserve shells.
- In a large frying pan heat the butter or oil and add the onion, pepper and leek. Simmer for 5 minutes or until soft, then add the tomato. Simmer until reduced (around 10-15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, boil the lobster shells to bring out the red colouring.
- In a separate pan, fry the lobster meat for one minute only in heated butter or oil.
- Add the coconut milk and fried lobster to the tomato mixture. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Simmer for around five minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat and spoon into the lobster shells to serve. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and garnish with parsley.
This recipe can also be adapted to make an equally delicious baked lobster dish. Instead of frying the lobster, add it raw to the vegetables and tomato along with the coconut milk, then stuff the empty shells with the resulting mixture. Top with a breadcrumb mix made from melted butter, breadcrumbs (crushed Ritz crackers also work well) and grated parmesan and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F (gas mark 6) or until the meat is tender and cooked through. Garnish and serve.