Grilled Lobster with Cilantro-Chile-Lime Butter

© 2012

How can you go wrong with lobster and compound butter? You really can’t. This is a fabulous dinner that is definitely worth a try. It is quick and easy enough to make for a weeknight meal but best for one of those special weekend nights.

This was a weekend meal for Baby Lady & I when there were no children around and we were afforded a little peace and quiet home alone. We went to our local Asian market bought a beautiful live lobster, along with some baby bok choy. This meal was the result. The hardest part of the meal is killing the live lobster and splitting it in half. If you’re squeamish, either don’t fix this recipe or have someone else do the dirty deed for you. If you’re not squeamish, you will have an unbelievably delectable meal. Everything went together. Saltiness of the prepared baby bok choy versus the sweetness of the lobster and sweet chiles, savory yet delicate and oh the inexpensive 90+ Cellars wine we had with it. It aint rocket science. Simple ingredients, simple preparation make the best dinners.


  • 4 oz unsalted butter softened
  • 3 Tbsp minced cilantro
  • 4 fresh Holland Chiless minced (I use a combination of sweet Chiles because I like the color – sweet Hungarian would be very nice)
  • 1 lime zested
  • (2) 1-1/2 lb – 2 lb LIVE lobsters
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Crushed Red Pepper to taste.


Make the compound butter. Mix the softened butter with the minced chiles, lime zest and cilantro. Set aside.

Split the lobster. To split the lobsters in half, make sure the lobster is sufficiently chilled. Fresh lobsters are active and vigorous. The colder a lobster is, the more sluggish it will be thereby making it easier to split in half. The last thing you want is a feisty lobster running around on your countertop trying to escape.

First, lay the lobster out belly side down on the cutting board and in one hand grasp the tail where it joins the body. In the other hand, take your knife and place the knife’s point along the ridge approximately an inch or an inch and a half from between the eyes towards the tail where the tail and body meet. The blade of the knife should be facing away from your hand that is holding the tail as you are going to cut through the lobster’s head between its eyes. Next, drive the point of the knife into the head until it goes all the way through the lobster’s head to the cutting board. Bring the blade down between the eyes to finish the cut of the head. This kills the lobster as quickly and painlessly as possible. Next, turn the lobster around and finish the cut from the head through the tail thereby giving you to lobster halves.

Cut off the claws and crack. I use a rolling pin to break the shells.

Remove inards and dorsal vein, rinse under cold water, put on a cookie pan, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper.

Cook the lobster. Heat grill to medium/medium high. Place the lobsters and claws on grill. The tails are placed meat side down. Cook tails for 4 – 5 minutes (depending upon size) meat side down and turn over to shell side down. When turning to shell side down, add the compound butter blend in the hollow of the head and spread on top of the tail meat. Turn the claws over shortly before you turn the tails. Cook another 2 – 3 minutes until done. The shells will turn red just like if you broil/boil/steam them. Be careful not to overcook because lobster, like any shellfish will get tough and chewy if overcooked. Remove from grill, serve and enjoy.

Food for thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s