Lobster Tails Meunière—A French Way to Cook Lobster Tails

Lobster Tails Meunière: A French Method of Cooking Lobster Tails

Lobster Tails Meunière: A great French way to cook lobster.

About every two or three weeks, lobster tails go on sale at my local Fresh Market. They’re generally $4.99 for 3.5-ounce tails, which is a pretty good price. I often broil them—as shown in this recent how-to story I wrote for the bhg.com website. Certainly, you can’t go wrong with that!

Filet of Sole Meunière. Surely you’ve tried this, haven’t you? Turns out, the meunière prep works great for lobster, too.

But let me tell you: For about a half-a-minute more of your time, you can have these gorgeous Lobster Tails Meunière. As I mention in my book, fish meunière—fish in the style of the miller’s wife—is a classic French way to make fish. As culinary legend has it, the miller’s wife got plenty of fish from the river or stream that powered her husband’s the mill, and she had plenty of flour to cook with.

For fish meunière, you basically dredge the fish in flour; sauté it in oil in a hot pan. Remove the fish; sprinkle with parsley. Melt some butter in the pan, letting it color slightly; add some garlic and cook about 30 seconds to release its flavor. Pour the butter over the fish; sprinkle some lemon juice over that. Serve. That’s it—one of the world’s best ways with fish.

Turns out, the meunière prep works beautifully for lobster tails. I like to butterfly the lobster tails completely—using kitchen shears to cut the tails in half lengthwise through the top shell, the meat, and the bottom shell. This helps them cook more evenly. I deviate slightly from the classic meunière preparation in that I also deglaze the pan with a little wine, letting the lobster tails simmer in the wine a bit (meat side up) to cook them through.

How to serve these beauties? In France, this would be a sit-down first course. They wouldn’t bulk it up with rice or pasta; they might put a few greens on the plate. But really, the tails would likely star solo.

Me, I can’t resist serving them in that classic American way—with a steak. For “date night at home,” I cook one ribeye for Mr. Sportcoat and me. We each enjoy one lobster tail (that is, two halves), a half of a ribeye, a baked potato, and a salad. Oui, mes amis, for this menu, tout est classique!

Here are a few step-by-steps. If you wish, simply scroll down to the recipe. Enjoy!

1. Cut the lobster tails in half. Using kitchen shears, cut lengthwise through the top shell, the meat, and the bottom shell—all the way through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cutting lobster tails in half: Easy to do with kitchen shears.

2. Lightly dust those lobster tails with butter. Dredge the meat side only (not the hard shell side!) in flour. Lightly is the operative word here—shake off excess flour.

Dredge the halved lobster tails in flour. Lightly.

3. Melt some butter in a medium skillet—use about 1 1/2 tablespoons for every two lobster tails—over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and hot, add the lobster tail halves, meat side down. Cook until very lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Immediately turn the tails, shell side down. Pour about 1/3 cup wine around the tails, into the pan. Cook until wine is almost evaporated, and tails are cooked through (they should be opaque throughout).

After you’ve seared the lobster, meat side down, turn over and cook a bit with some wine.

4. Remove the lobster to serving plates (two halves per serving). Sprinkle lobster tails with snipped fresh parsley and/or chives. Wipe out skillet. Working quickly, add 2 tablespoons more butter to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until it colors slightly. Off heat, add 1 large minced garlic clove, and let it cook 30 seconds or until its flavor is released. Divide melted butter mixture over lobster tails; sprinkle with lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon total for two servings). Serve immediately.

Lobster Tails Menieère. Serve solo as a sit-down first course. Or, serve with a steak for a classic French take on the classic surf-and-turf combo.

If you try this dish, let me know how you like it!

Lobster Tails Meunière—A French Way to Cook Lobster Tails
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
This is for two servings. You can easily double or triple it for more servings.
  • 2 lobster tails, thawed if frozen
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3½ tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley and/or chives
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 1 large minced garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Using kitchen shears, cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise, cutting completely through top shell, meat, and bottom shell. Season the lobster meat with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge the meat sides of the lobster tails in the flour lightly (do not coat the shell side); shake off excess flour.
  3. Melt 1½ tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the lobster tails, meat side down, and cook, shifting around in the pan a bit, until the lobster meat is very lightly brown.
  4. Turn the lobster tails, meat side up; pour the white wine around the lobster tails and let the wine simmer until mostly reduced. Place the lobster tails on 2 serving plates; sprinkle with the parsley and/or chives. Carefully wipe out the skillet.
  5. Working quickly, return the skillet to medium-high heat; add the butter and cook until it foams and browns ever so lightly. Take the pan off the heat; add the garlic and swirl it in the butter until its fragrance is released.
  6. Pour garlic-butter mixture evenly over lobster tails. Sprinkle lemon juice evenly over all. Serve immediately.

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+ 4 = eleven

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