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Grilled Caribbean Rock Lobster Cakes Recipe

Grilled Caribbean Rock Lobster Cakes Recipe

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For the annatto seed oil:

  • 1 tablespoon annatto oil
  • 8 ounces blended oil (75% olive, 25% vegetable)

For the lobster cakes:

  • 32 ounces lobster tails (including shell weight)
  • Salt
  • Oil, for cooking

Fresh ground pepper:

  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

For the lime vinaigrette:

  • 6 limes
  • 1 tablespoon grain mustard
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces baby arugula, for garnish


For the annatto oil:

Place annatto seeds and 3 ounces of oil in a sauce pot and simmer over very low heat until oil takes on the bright hue of the seeds, about 40 minutes. Strain seeds and cool oil.

For the lobster cakes:

Remove tails from lobsters, split them down the middle and lightly oil and season the flesh side with salt and pepper. Grill flesh side down on high heat for 60-90 seconds, or until marked and the outside of the meat has turned from translucent to white. Remove from heat and let them rest, about 5 minutes or until cool.

Loosen the meat from the shells, but don't remove them (keeping them in the shell retains moisture.) Continue grilling the lobsters, starting shell side down about 90 seconds. The meat will begin to puff up out of the shell and the shell will begin to turn orange. Flip the tails once more onto their flesh side and finish the grilling process, about 60 seconds. You want the meat slightly translucent in the middle, looking about medium. Remove from heat and let them rest again.

When cool, remove the meat from the tails and cut them into about ½-inch square chunks. Toss into a mixing bowl with ½ cup of the parsley, the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, red pepper, red onion, salt, and pepper to taste.

Toss lightly by hand using your finger tips so as not to tear the meat too much. Slowly add the panko until the mixture begins to tighten up but is still moist. Remember that the panko will continue to absorb more moisture over time, so go easy at first. You can always add more if needed. Let the mixture rest, allowing flavors and textures to marry, about 15 minutes to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Reserve some breadcrumbs for crusting the cakes.

For the lime vinaigrette:

Juice all the limes, add the mustard and parsley, honey, and shallot. Mix together thoroughly, then slowly add about 3 ounces of the oil, whisking the whole time. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Take about a meatball-sized handful of batter and gently press the air out of it. Place it on your board and slightly press the cake into shape, using the side of your pinky to form the wall. Flip the patty over and flatten the other side with the board. They should be about ¾-inch tall and 3 inches wide. Place cakes in the refrigerator to let them set up, at least an hour.

When ready to serve, heat about ¼ inch of oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Take each cake and press gently into some panko to form a crust on the flat sides. Place into the hot oil, making sure you have plenty of space in between each cake to be able to flip and maneuver, as you can keep them warm in a low oven. Cook about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and warmed through.

On a plate, place cake on top of nest of arugula. Drizzle with lime vinaigrette and a spoonful of annatto oil on the side.

Spiny lobster, also known as "spinies," is found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mediterranean Sea. The first thing you will notice about it (besides its bright spotted coloring) is that it has no claws but does have rather large antennae, which serve to ward off predators by making a scary sound. While spiny lobster tails are often sold frozen, a similar but larger species, the California spiny lobster, is captured in traps or hand caught by divers and sold live in tanks. This makes the U.S. spiny lobster fishery a best choice if you are eager to support sustainable seafood. The same can be said for lobsters taken in Baja, California, Mexico, and in Australia. Spiny lobster stocks in the Caribbean, however, are being overfished, so avoid them if you can.

If you are lucky enough to get a whole spiny lobster, you can use the meat in a variety of recipes—from lobster Thermidor and lobster salad to a lobster sauce for pasta. Because the meat is a bit firmer than Maine lobster, spiny lobster tails are traditionally grilled and basted with butter and are also excellent steamed and roasted. They do well in recipes with pronounced spices and ingredients, and work especially well in soups (bisque or chowder), rice dishes (such as paella or risotto), and stews. Be sure to get the thin little strips of meat from the tail flippers and the tasty chunk at the base of each antenna.

Once all the meat has been removed, you can make lobster stock from the body and legs.

Cooking a rock lobster tail

I live in Seattle, and every time I go to Pike Place Market, I look at these gigantic lobster tails at City Fish Company, and think, should I. I know they're not local--they describe them as "Caribbean rock lobster"--but this stall has a good reputation for quality, fresh fish, and they look sooo good. My only worry is, that's a LOT of expensive lobster to risk when I've never cooked it and have no clue what I'm doing. I think they suggest grilling them, but I'd like to have a little more instructions than that. Any suggestions? Direct or indirect heat? How long? Could I use a meat thermometer to make sure I'm getting them right (I've had overcooked lobster and I do NOT want to be responsible for doing that to a lovely piece of fish), and if so, what temperature am I aiming for?

Here's a photo, in case it helps you know what I'm talking about:

Any recipes or basic instructions would be greatly appreciated.

A heads up: Caribbean rock lobster is a different species from Maine lobster. Although some say the flavor is similar to Maine lobster, I disagree. And because rock lobster tails have been previously frozen, the texture is different as well. I've been seduced by them, tried grilling them, and wasn't particularly pleased with the result. They were partially overcooked, partially undercooked. If I were going to buy them, I'd look for a recipe calling for lobster meat and I'd steam or boil them and remove the meat from the shell.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter, and cut in using a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Add coconut, and mix just enough to blend. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Rock Lobster Tail

The first day open for indoor dining in Illinois was my birthday. The COVID shutdown has really put a damper on eating out.

We arrived for our reservation and found all the employees practicing good social distancing and all were wearing masks. The place was clean and they installed mini Kiosks at the tables for paying your bill. Great idea. Their menu has significantly shortened and on a paper sheet which they probably throw out after you use it. But there are plenty of choices to satisfy anyone.

We began by ordering drinks. I had an original margarita. It contained mostly ice so when I ordered the second one I skipped the ice and it was perfect.

For dinner my wife ordered the Crunchy Popcorn Shrimp. It came with two sides, baked potato and Cole slaw. All was delicious, yes, I tasted hers. I ordered the Lobster Lovers Dream. It came with a roasted rock lobster tail , butter-poached Maine lobster tail and lobster -and-shrimp linguine Alfredo. Both lobster tails were under cooked. But not so much where I had to send it back. I consumed it as is and it was delicious. The linguine was so good. It had lobster and shrimp in it of course but it was worthy of being its own entree. For sides I had their mashed potato's and Cole slaw. Their slaw is extra tasty not just a regular recipe. The potato's of course are a signature item I believe and also much better than typical mashed potato's.

Red Lobster is one of my favorite places to eat. Its a little pricey but a good time to be had.

Identify by Price

You can usually tell the difference between Maine and rock lobster tails by their price too. Maine lobster tails are in relatively short supply, and they're generally considered the best, so they command a premium price. Lobster tails sold at a special door-crasher price at your local supermarket or seafood merchant – or as a surprisingly inexpensive add-on at a restaurant – are probably rock lobster. There are differences even among rock lobsters, though. A good rule is that the cooler the water, the tastier the lobster. The cold waters of Maine and Atlantic Canada produce exceptionally good lobster, but you can also find cold-water rock lobster tails from Southern Hemisphere countries like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. They aren't quite the same as a Maine lobster, but they're definitely sweeter and finer than warm-water tails.

Rock (Spiny) Lobster

The major difference between a Maine lobster and a rock lobster is the size of the claw and antenna, On a rock lobster, the antenna is much larger, while the claw is pretty much nonexistent. If you’ve ever had a Maine lobster before, the claw has the most tender meat, which is why we prefer the Maine lobster.

Rock lobster is also raised in warm water and has a seafood taste. Specifically, the rock lobster comes from a family (Palinuridae) of 60 species. Certain species of spiny lobster is known as sea crayfish or crawfish. Here’s a photo of a spiny lobster.

As you can see, the antenna is very large and thick, plus there’s no large claw either. The benefit is that the tail has more meat than the Maine lobster.

These lobsters are found in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. In fact, spiny lobsters are the largest food export of the Bahamas.

3 Best Seafood Restaurants in Vaughan, ON

Here’s The Deal:
Vaughan's Red Lobster serves you the finest seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant's signature dishes are Garlic Shrimp, Island Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, and Ultimate Feast. They have a great selection of fish on their today's catch menu, including a variety of popular choices like salmon and regional favourites that rotate based on availability. Your kids will surely love their popcorn shrimp, golden fried fish, chicken fingers and grilled chicken. Sign up on their website and receive a free appetizer or dessert.

Southwest-Style Tacos, Fire-Grilled Tacos, Yucatán Tilapia and Shrimp, Dragon Power Bowl, Seaside Shrimp Trio, Snow Crab Legs, Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Chicken Breast Strips, Wood-Grilled Lobster, Seafarer's Feast, Crab Linguini Alfredo, Salmon New Orleans, Admiral's Feast, Lobster Mac and Cheese, Whitefish & Peppercorn-Panko Calamari

Sun - Thu 11:30 am - 8:30 pm
Fri & Sat 11:30 am - 9:30 pm

TBR® Inspection Report:


8099 Weston Road, Vaughan, ON L4L 2V5 Directions

Here’s The Deal:
The Lobster Trap Restaurant is an easygoing nautical-themed spot dishing up oysters, lobsters, and other seafood, plus steaks. It serves Canada's most excellent seafood and lobster. It is situated north of Highway seven, with ample free parking, live entertainment, and fully licensed with the LCBO. Their delicious menu specializes in a comprehensive range of lobster-inspired meals, providing such fare as lobster bisque, boiled lobster entrées, and lobster tail with juicy filet mignon. You can enjoy their delicious lobster bisque in a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. An authentic surf and turf experience is available upon request at this restaurant. The Lobster Trap's unique dishes are lobster Thermidor and fresh Atlantic salmon don't forget to taste these.

Caesar Salad, Filet Mignon, Steamed Alaska King Crab, Crab Cakes, Escargot, Broiled Caribbean Rock Lobster, Shrimp Cocktail, Lobster Newburg and Thermidor, Garlic and Coconut Shrimp, AAA Angus Steak, Chicken Breast, Deep Fried and Grilled Calamari, Lobster Bisque and Trap Platter, Atlantic Salmon & Fresh Steamed Mussels

Maine Lobster

Maine lobster or American lobsters, which is also called the Northern Lobster (Homarus americanus), are found on the North Atlantic coast of America, not only from the waters of Maine but also elsewhere on the North Atlantic coast, as well as the Canada coast. Their habitat stretches, generally, from the Eastern coast of Canada to the coast of North Carolina, but they are more abundant from Maine to New Jersey, growing scarcer farther south or north. These lobsters, with edible claws, are true lobsters and are one of around 25 species of similar lobsters, which have big crushing claws and smaller serrated claws for cutting.

Red Lobster buys Maine lobster live, which is how they are almost always sold. These are the most sought-after type of lobster, being the most succulent and having the best texture and flavor. The exact waters that the lobster is caught in can influence the taste, because of diet and temperature, but they are always considered superior to Rock lobster. The Maine Lobster is either steamed whole in the shell or roasted. The live Maine lobster can be purchased whole steamed or roasted and stuffed. Tails can be had several ways, including roasted or wood-grilled.

Red Lobster Menu Prices

The Red Lobster prices are affordable enough that you shouldn't find yourself in the red when you develop a fondness for its delicious food. The Orlando, Florida-based chain of casual dining restaurants boasts of more than 700 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, among others.

The restaurants specialize in the best seafood appetizers and entrées with main ingredients like shrimp, lobster, crab, and mollusks as well as several species of fish. The chain has also developed a reputation for its great-tasting chicken, pasta and steak dishes. The ambiance may be casual but there's also an underlying sense of elegance, thanks to the stylish interiors.

The dinner and lunch menus feature several specials, which are usually available Mondays to Fridays at certain times. The specials also come with unlimited biscuits, thus, making them a complete meal. The choices include Seafood Lover's Lunch, Classic Caesar Salad with Chicken, and Grilled Shrimp Salad. The desserts include warm chocolate chip lava cookies and vanilla bean cheesecake.

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