Spicy Barbecued Lobster with a garlic parsley butter sauce

Now I can’t claim this for my own, my wife’s family introduced me to this, however, barbecued lobster is one of life’s great treats. BUT, there is a caveat. If you are squeamish, stop here, as this recipe requires live lobster and you need to be able to kill them. For me, this is an important part of our learning to appreciate the food we eat – be they from the land or sea. If we are going to eat animals, fish or seafood, then we should be ok with the process of killing them. It means we respect them more and treat them with the attention and admiration they deserve.

1 Lobster per person


3 cloves of garlic per person

1 tsp of peri peri sauce

1 tsp of chopped parsley

1/8th pack of butter

Buy fresh lobster from your fishmonger and bring them home. Put them in the freezer for at an hour to two hour (check after an hour to see that they are still, but not frozen) before you prepare them as this desensitises them.  From this point forward you need to work quickly as they should not warm up. The idea is to cut the lobster lengthways. Never cut a cross section of a live lobster. Put the lobster belly side down on a chopping board, place a kitchen knife on the cross on the back of the head of the lobster, then in a swift, single motion cut through the head all the way. Turn the lobster and cut all the way through the back of the lobster. This should be very quick in all and not take more than 10 seconds. You then have two equal halves of a lobster. Clean out the head taking out the grey bits (the stomach sac and intestinal tract as well), just leaving the tail meat. Then take off the claws and the legs. If you are unsure about this go and buy a book like Rick Stein’s Seafood. This has pictures and shows step by step how to go about it (pages 76-79).

Bring a pan of water to the boil, salt it heavily, and put the claws in for four minutes. Take them out and drain. Add the legs to the water and boil for one minute. Again, drain. Once cool, get a hammer and pre-crack the claws so they can be eaten.

Get a barbecue hot. Then make the sauce. Finely crush the garlic and chop the parsley. Melt the butter and add the garlic and parsley, heat for a further minute and let it cool whilst you cook the lobster. Brush the lobster with the peri peri sauce. Place it on the barbecue meat side down for a minute or two, don’t move it too quickly as you want nice griddle marks (and moving it can mean you end up steaming it rather than grilling it). Turn it over and cook until the lobster meat feels firm to the touch. Be careful not to overcook it. Practice is the best way to get this right as each barbecue is different. Once cooked put on a plate and pour over plenty of the garlic and parsley butter.

Now I know this sounds like hard work, but believe me it is worth it. These are the most fantastic creatures from the sea and I know of no better way to eat them.

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