I was thinking that I wanted to grill something kind of special for Father’s Day this year. Surf and turf is always a good option for Dad and I got to thinking about eating lobster at Rosarito Beach in Baja California. I haven’t grilled lobster in a number of years, but I couldn’t help but think of how delicious it could be.
Call it serendipity, kismet or The Secret (lol), but once I had decided on grilling lobster I received an email from Joe at LobsterAnywhere.com. (This is not a sponsored post.) Joe had seen the blog and was just wondering if I had thought of grilling lobster. Long story short, Joe offered to send me a couple Maine lobster tails to try… no obligation. The tails came frozen the next day packed in dry ice and they thawed beautifully in the refrigerator. I will definitely be getting lobster from Joe at LobsterAnywhere.com again.
In Rosarito, lobsters are simply split in half, grilled and served with lime wedges. Since these were Maine lobster tails, I thought a more traditional presentation was warranted. However, I still had those Baja flavors in my head, so I got all Tupac and Biggie on it… “piggybacked” Maine lobster tails with drawn butter, citrus zest, lime juice, garlic and Fresno chile. Bam!
Grilling lobster tails is pretty straight forward and not at all hard to do. Most of all, they’re pretty darn impressive as well as tasty!
East Coast/West Coast Grilled Lobster Tail with Baja Butter
4 Maine lobster tails, about 12- to 16-ounces each
Olive oil, for grilling
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
Limes, for serving
For Baja butter:
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 clove garlic minced
1 Fresno chile, seeded and minced
Grated zest from 2 limes
Grated zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
Thaw lobster tails (if frozen) thoroughly in the refrigerator. Prep the lobster tails:
Using poultry shears or heavy-duty scissors, cut down the back of the shell leaving the fan tail intact. Do not cut through the meat or the soft under shell.
Pull open the tail and insert your finger between the meat and the shell and gently pull the tail meat up in one piece. Rest or “piggyback” the meat on top of the shell.
Bush the tails with olive oil and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Note: one of the tails is pink in color. According to Joe, “You got a female lobster tail. The female tails are a little wider you will notice.” The pink is from an excess of its natural pigment, zeaxanthin, often occurring in females; I have seen this in scallops as well. Zeaxanthin is the same thing that gives orange and yellow vegetables their characteristic colors. It is not at all harmful, nor does it effect the taste. Once cooked, the pink will turn white.
Place tails in the refrigerator cover with plastic wrap until ready to grill. Set up grill for cooking over medium heat. Brush and oil grates before cooking.
While the grill preheats, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add minced garlic and chile and cook until fragrant and the foaming subsides. Remove from heat and stir in the citrus zest and lime juice. Set aside until ready to serve.
Carefully lay the lobster on the grill meat side down and cook undisturbed for 3 minutes or until marked. Use tongs and a spatula to lift from the fan tail end to flip over.
Baste the tails with some of the melted butter. Cover grill and cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is opaque and the shells are bright red or the internal temperature registers 140°F to 145°F. If you are not accustom to cooking lobster, I would strongly urge you to use a digital probe or instant read thermometer.
Serve lobster immediately with Baja butter and some limes for squeezing.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!