How to prepare langoustines

Preparing whole fresh langoustines can be a fiddly job. Follow Jen Bedloe’s easy step-by-step guide for impressive results.

How to prepare langoustines

You’ll need

  • A clean chopping board
  • Kitchen scissors
  • A small sharp knife
  • A large sharp knife

Jen’s tips for success

  • Order sustainably sourced, whole, fresh langoustines from a fishmonger.
  • If you can’t find whole, fresh langoustines, use sustainably sourced large shell-on prawns instead.
  • Keep the heads and shells to make fish stock. Put the heads and shells in a freezer bag, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Use from frozen.

1. Lay each langoustine, underside-down, on a clean chopping board and pull off the head and claws. Save to make fish stock (see Jen’s tips, below).

2. If making breaded scampi, lay the tail flat on the board and, using kitchen scissors, cut through the shell along the back (not through the flesh). Continue from step 3.

2a. Alternatively, to prepare langoustines for grilling, complete step 2 but cut through the flesh also, then fan out with the shell still attached, cut-side-up, on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil or dot with butter. Grill for 1-2 minutes, then season with lemon juice, black pepper and fresh herbs.

3. Carefully peel the langoustine out of its shell in one whole piece.

4. Score down the back of each langoustine with a small sharp knife, then use the tip of the knife to remove the intestinal tract (discard).

5. Cut the tail into two using a sharp knife down the centre.

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