Poor Man’s Lobster


Today’s featured recipe uses langostinos. If you have never heard of them or tried them you are in for a real treat.

I think langostinos are one of the best kept secret in the universe.

Langostinos is a Spanish word for shellfish. Langostinos are a member of the lobster family. They taste a lot like lobster but at only 4-5 inches in length, are the smallest of the lobsters. They have a subtle sweet flavor.

Best Part Inexpensive Too

The best part is that they are less expensive than lobster and even often times less expensive than shrimp, which is how they got the title, Poor Man’s Lobster.

During this Never Ending Recession this is good news. Depending upon where you live, you may be able to get an 8 ounce package for under $10. Finally something out of the ordinary we ordinary folks can afford!

You can make a truly elegant, delightful, and delectable dish for your family or for company without busting your budget.

Langostinos are almost exclusively found and fished in the cold waters off Chile.

Ten or more years ago I used to find them fresh in the fish counter. I very seldom see them that way anymore. Now they are cooked near where they are caught, and  frozen before being shipped around the world.  Today you are most likely to find them in the seafood frozen food case. The langostinos you find in grocery stores is the tail meat of these tiny lobsters. And since they are pre-cooked all you need to do is thaw them and warm them up a bit. How easy is that?

They can be used in any recipe that calls for lobster, shrimp, crab, or crayfish.

They are great to use cold as a snack with cocktail sauce, too or in salads or pasta.

Over the years there has been some controversy over them since the Spanish name refers to different types of shellfishdepending on location where they are found, fished, or eaten. Some people also confuse them with spiny lobsters and Norwegian lobster. The controversy has nothing to do with today’s recipe, but if you want to read more about it you can click here: Wiki.

All we need to know is they are super delicious and inexpensive. And for those who care they are extremely low-fat too. 

Featured Recipe    Langostinos in Garlic Butter Sauce Over Spaghetti

While this recipe is  a bit more expensive than most recipes I share here, it is still under $5 per person. Plus everyone once in a while we have to treat ourself. Just remember, we’re worth it!

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1 package spaghetti

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 8 ounce package langostinos

2 cloves garlic pressed

4 tablespoons butter cut into cubes

2 tablespoons lemon juice (About ½ large one.)

4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

½ cup white wine – Optional

Parsley for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Put up the water to boil and cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

NOTE: This recipe moves very fast and you do not want to over cook the langostinos as it will make them tough and chewy. So you will want to complete the following before you start cooking:

Press the garlic, juice the lemon, pour the wine into a cup, cut the butter into cubes, chop the parsley.

Also, drain the langostinos and gently pat them dry.

After you finish all of these tasks then heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat until very hot.

Add the langostinos and cook for 30 seconds without stirring.

Add the garlic. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil, and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the cold butter into sauce………..

 ………..and then remove from heat. When butter completely melts, add salt and pepper to taste and gently stir. This will not be a thick sauce. It is basically just melted butter.

Drain the spaghetti when it is finished cooking. If that is before the sauce is ready keep warm. Then divide it between 4 plates. Spoon some of the sauce over the pasta.

Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of Parmesan cheese and garnish with some of the parsley.

Serve with a salad and bread and butter.

Bon appétit!!!


 1 package spaghetti                        $1.28

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil                  $0.20

1 8 oz package langostinos               $9.79

2 cloves garlic pressed                     $0.10

4 tablespoons butter                         $0.32

2 tablespoons lemon juice                 $0.35

4 tbspns Parmesan cheese                $1.02

½ cup white wine – Optional           $2.00

Parsley for garnish                           $0.14

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $15.20
Cost per person = $3.80

Quote of the Day

The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world.

B. C. Forbes


Thanks to my source, astray recipes for much of the factual information above.


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11 comments to Poor Man’s Lobster

  • The recession that never ends… you can say that again. I’m sick of it.

    You wouldn’t feel poor if you ate this pasta with langostinos. What a beautiful dish.

    • Roberta

      I don’t know in Australia, but here in America we all better get used to eating cheap.

      Thanks for the kind words, Maureen.

  • Great article. I wasn’t aware of these little lobster-like delicacies. I’ll have to find some and try your recipe. It looks divine!

    • Roberta

      Thank you very much, Charles. So glad you like the recipe. I think it is divine. Hope you can find them. Let me know what you think if you try.

  • Roberta, thank you. I am going to check our supermarket’s frozen section to see if I can find these. I remember my mother making them, but what a great reminder – have not seen, in years. Looks so delicious.

  • Those pictures really bring back memories for me.

    In South Africa, we had various sizes of prawns, the largest, King or LM (for Lourenco Marques – now Maputo in Mocambique) were slightly bigger than the langostinos in your photograph.

    We also had Langoustines, the size of the lobsters we get in North America, but slightly different looking and with a taste closer to prawns than lobster.

    Some of the best of both were found in the lagoons around the Comores Islands, North of Madagascar. I was fortunate to travel there in the 1980’s before the islands were developed, magical places.

    Thanks for the reminders and the photos.

    • Roberta

      Did you catch your own? That would be magical, I would imagine. And fresh from the water would have the best taste too. Hope the memories were good ones.

  • Virginia Urbach

    Hi Roberta, I love it that you actually show how to make the dish. Makes it so much easier. The recipe is another one to try out. Looks yummy but who doesn’t love pasta and shellfish? Also, the quote of the day I’m sharing, if you don’t mind.

  • Robyn

    Thanks Roberta for reminding me how yummy langostinos (or as we call them at my house–baby shrimp) are. I haven’t used them in a while, but I think we’ll be using your recipe tonight for dinner. I can hardly wait for dinner! YUM. 🙂