Coconut Butter-Poached Lobster Tail with Galangal and Lime

Baby Lady and I love Hawaii.  Her sister lives in Honolulu so we try to go over there whenever we can.  The food, especially the seafood, is remarkable.  We always go to my favorite local fish monger, Tamashiro Fish Market, buy some of their poke and some other fresh fish for fixin later.  I keep threatening to rent an apartment over the store.  My sister-in-law and her friend Ann know we like to cook and we try to cook for them when we are there.  After our last visit, they sent us an autographed book, The Blue Tomato by Alan Wong with Arnold Hiura.  This recipe comes from The Blue Tomato.  It is an absolutely wonderful dish, although (as you will see) a little complex to make.  The lobster is silky smooth, juicy and tender like you won’t believe with a beautiful coconut, lime flavor.  If you want something challenging but well worth the effort, give this a try.  If you do, make sure you save the remaining poaching broth as it makes an unbelievable pasta dish which I will posting next. Oh, I also forgot to tell you this dish and the pasta dish following, especially the pasta dish, is a heart attack waiting to happen,…but it is sooo good!


  • 6 – 2 – 3 oz cracked and shelled, fresh, raw lobster tails
  • 1 lb unsalted butter cut into 1/4 lb blocks
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 c extra rich coconut milk*
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced galagal**
  • 2 Tbsp minced red jalapeno pepper
  • 2 Tbsp minced lemongrass
  • 2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 8 Kaffir lime lime leaves chopped***
  • 1/4 c rough chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 c roughly chopped cilantro

Cooking Instructions

Beginning at the body end of the lobster tail, roll up the tail tightly.  Stick a skewer in it to hold its shape.  Two lobster tails will fit on one skewer.

In a medium sauce pan bring water to a boil.  Add one block of butter to water and stir.  When  the first block of butter has melted, add the next block continuing the process until all 4 blocks have been melted. Place on low very low heat and hold.

Combine the coconut milk and lime juice in a medium sauce pan and place over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer until it thickens and has reduced to about 2/3 of its original volume.  Add the galangal, jalapeno, lemongrass, fish sauce, Kaffir lime leaves, sriracha sauce and the butter mixture.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Add the lobster tails and reduce the heat to low and poach the lobster tails at 145 o F – 150 o F for 3- to 45 minutes.  The lobster tails should be tender, succulent and just cooked.

To Plate:  When the lobster has been cooked through, turn off the heat, ad the basil and cilantro.  Using a slotted spool, place each lobster tail in a shallow bowl.  Spoon 3 Tbsp of sauce over each tail.  Top with a little more chopped basil/cilantro leaves and serve.


* Rich coconut milk is the thick creamy portion on the top of a can of coconut milk.  If you place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight it’s easier to separate the following day by removing the thicker portion and leaving behind the watery liquid. You will need at least 2 cans to get 2 cups of rich coconut milk.

** Galangal is a rhizome. It is similar to ginger but galangal has a distinct peppery flavor. If you cannot find fresh galangal, substitute ginger.

*** Kaffir lime leaves can be found in asian stores.  If you cannot find them some suggest substituting 1/2 a small bay leaf, 1/4 tsp of lime zest, 1/8 tsp of fresh lemon thyme per leaf.  Others suggest 1 Tbsp lime zest per 6 leaves.

4 thoughts on “Coconut Butter-Poached Lobster Tail with Galangal and Lime”

    1. Thanks for your nice compliment. 🙂 This is absolutely wonderful (as is Tamashiro Fish Market) and I’m sure you would like it. The next time I make this I am going to try it sous vide to see what, if any, difference it makes. My guess is you won’t need as much of the poaching liquid.

Food for thoughts

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