Grilled Lobster Tails Marinated in Coconut Milk and Sour Orange
In the brilliant turquoise waters around Spanish Wells, Bahamas, where galleons fell into the embrace of Davy Jones’ Locker in the hidden corals of The Devil Backbone Reef, the skin of a spiny lobster. Fished for generations by the sailors of this smallest inhabited island of the 700 Sun Islands, lobster offers a delicious dish.
If you want to visit Spanish Wells and buy lobster at the docks, you’ll need to fly to Nassau, then take a puddle bridge to North Eleuthera, where you’ll take a taxi to the shoreline and then a water taxi across the channel to the off-island. . Trust me though; worth the trip. Lobster doesn’t get fresher than this. And you’ll find no shortage of coconuts or sour oranges for this sweet marinade. Palm trees line the pink sand beaches of this little treasure and sour orange trees, planted long ago by local farmers, have gone wild.
When you get to the pier, ask for Chuck. You’ll find him on his 78-foot boat, the Sea Gem. A third-generation fisherman, he can tell you the story of the Spanish Wells spiny lobster better than I can. Be sure to ask him about the time he drove home from the banks of the Grand Bahamas in the middle of a hurricane. And after he tells you the story about him, be sure to tell him that I said “Hello!”
3-4 spiny lobster tails (also known as crabs)
1 cup coconut milk (canned is fine)
½ stick of butter
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 gloves of crushed garlic
Juice of one sour orange or two fresh limes
pinch of sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1. Using kitchen shears, cut lobster tails in half lengthwise and remove intestinal tract.
2. In a large skillet, combine coconut milk, butter, onion powder, crushed garlic, sour orange or lime juice, sea salt, and pepper. Heat until butter melts. Keep away from heat.
3. Soak the lobster tails in the marinade, meat side down, for 20-30 minutes.
4. Spray grill with nonstick spray or lightly brush with olive oil and heat over medium-low heat.
5. Grill the lobster 3-5 minutes on the meat side and then 3-5 minutes on the shell side, watching for the opacity to disappear and the color to turn white. Don’t overcook.
6. Bathe occasionally with ¼ cup marinade while cooking
7. While lobster is cooking, bring remaining marinade to a boil and reduce by half.
8. Serve grilled lobster with reduced marinade as a dipping sauce.