A type of shellfish, langostinos resemble small lobsters. Although they are often sold as prawns or under the name "squat lobster," langostinos belong to the crab family. The tail meat is the only edible portion of the crustacean; it has a texture similar to shrimp but with a mildly sweet flavor resembling crab or lobster meat, says SeafoodSource.com. Langostino tails are most often sold precooked and frozen. Fresh langostinos can be sauteed or fried in the same way as prawns; however, a low-fat preparation method such as poaching is healthier and yields meat that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Fill a large saucepan or stockpot with liquid, choosing from water, broth, wine or a combination. Plan on approximately 2 cups of liquid for 18 to 24 langostinos.
Stir your choice of seasonings into the liquid. These can include salt, pepper, spices, freshly minced herbs such as parsley, flavored vinegar and chopped onions, celery and carrots.
Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat until the mixture simmers, leave the pot uncovered and cook for up to 30 minutes. Strain the liquid through a colander or strainer and return only the liquid to the pot.
Bring the liquid back to a simmer. Add the langostinos and poach for three to four minutes.
Remove the langostinos from the poaching liquid and serve immediately or chill and use the meat in other recipes.
- Serve cooked langostinos as an appetizer, drizzled with fresh lemon juice and flavored oil.
- Use poached langostino tail meat as a pizza topping, in salads, soups or added to pasta dishes.
- You can use langostino tail meat as a substitute in any dish that calls for shrimp, lobster or crab.
- Langostinos are high in cholesterol: A 3-ounce serving contains 75 milligrams of cholesterol, or 25 percent of the cholesterol a healthy adult should limit himself to each day. If you have a history of heart disease or high blood cholesterol, limit your intake of langostinos.
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.
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