I opportunistically bought two lobster tails from my local supermarket recently. I didn’t have a recipe in mind, but with lobster, it doesn’t take long before inspiration strikes. In this case, I turned to Dr No (1958). In the book, James Bond and his ally in Jamaica, Quarrel, scan the menu of ‘The Joy Boat’ restaurant in Kingston harbour and decide on broiled lobster and rare steak with native vegetables. Presumably James and Quarrel enjoy whole lobster, but lobster tails are an economical option. What’s more, they’re quick to prepare and cook and look just as good.
This recipe is inspired by a recipe for broiled lobster that appeared in the Sunday Gleaner on 17th March 1957, published shortly after Ian Fleming had returned to London from Jamaica carrying the first draft of Dr No.
- 2 lobster tails, uncooked
- Melted butter
- Parsley, finely chopped
Switch on the grill or, if preferred, heat the oven to 200C (180C fan-assisted; 390F).
Take one of the tails and with sharp scissors or kitchen shears make a cut lengthwise down the middle of the shell, stopping when you reach the tail fins. Don’t worry if you cut into the flesh a little. Carefully run a finger between the shell and the meat and around the top end of the tail to loosen the meat. Gently pull the meat up so that it is raised above the shell (ensuring that the meat is still attached to the fin end). Remove the digestive tract. Repeat with the other lobster tail.
If using the grill, place the tails meat-side down on a baking tray. Grill for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn the tails over so that the meat is facing the grill. Before popping the tails back under the grill, brush the meat liberally with melted butter and sprinkle some paprika and parsley over the tails. Continue cooking, allowing a total cooking time of 10-15 minutes.
If using the oven, place the tails meat-side up on a baking tray. Brush with melted butter and add paprika and parsley. Put the tray in the oven and cook the tails for 10-15 minutes.
Make sure the meat is sizzling and cooked through before serving. If not (and larger lobster tails may need longer cooking), put them back under the heat for another couple of minutes.