A succulent, white shellfish, langoustines (also known as scampi and Dublin Bay prawns) are closely related to the lobster, though are more the size of a large prawn. They are a high-value shellfish that are landed in the North Atlantic and then transported to the Mediterranean and France where they’re very popular.
Langoustines are usually sold frozen, ready-prepared with the shell removed, but they’re also available live. They are naturally pinky-orange in colour and turn a paler pink on cooking. Frozen, ready-prepared langoustines are easier to cook with. Fresh langoustines sold in their shells should be packed onto ice and smell very freshly of the sea.
Langoustines are available fresh or frozen, in and out of their shells.
Fresh langoustines need roasting or boiling in well-salted water before being pulled from their shells. They are delicious served with just a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of mayonnaise, garlic butter or aïoli, but can also be added to curry, pasta and paella. Alternatively, deep-fry them in batter, or peel and poach them and make traditional Scampi Provençal. Pre-boiled langoustines should be reheated gently; don't re-cook them or they'll toughen. Alternatively, eat pre-boiled langoustines cold in a salad with a vinegar dressing.