Fried Lobster Tails – What could be better than seafood? Fried seafood, of course! With their buttery soft lobster meat, these crispy fried tails are insanely good and perfect for a special date night. Treat yo self! 😆
Don’t let restaurants fool you into thinking lobster is their exclusive domain. I used to save lobster eating for special nights out on the town too, but no longer! Cooking lobster is surprisingly easy and yields a deliciously fancy meal, at home, for a fraction of the price.
Ok, you may still have doubts about frying lobster tail, but just think about how good all the other fried crustaceans you’ve tried have been. All super tasty, right? Well, I’m telling you that you’re missing out if you haven’t tried your lobster tail fried. No worries, though, coz I’m about to catch you up to speed. 😜
Fried Lobster Tails – With the Shell On?
You’ll notice that we’re going to pull the lobster meat out of the tail shell, leaving it barely attached, and then fry it all. Why even keep the shells on, right? Well, you don’t have to.
You can totally remove the meat and fry it all by its lonesome if you don’t want the shell getting in the way. But there’s something special about the fried shells and the wow factor. So if you’re serving this for guests, let them “eat with their eyes” and keep it on for show. It looks oh-so-bougie. ✨
- Lobster Tail – Opt for cold-water lobster tails if you can get them because they’re way more flavorful than their warm-water counterparts.
- Seasonings – Garlic and onion powder add depth to the cayenne pepper and Creole seasoning, which give this dish a beautiful kick.
- Egg Wash – Buttermilk and eggs whisk up to make the perfect egg wash for the breading to stick to.
- Breading – A mix of cornmeal and flour makes for a light breading that doesn’t eclipse the glory of lobster meat.
- Garlic Butter Sauce – Butter, garlic, lemon juice, and freshly chopped parsley – now that’s a combo born to pour over seafood. 🤤
How to Make Fried Lobster Tails
Butterfly the Lobster Tails
- Slit the Shell – Make a slit lengthwise with kitchen shears through the center top of the shell, stopping just before the tail fins. (Photo 1)
- Separate the Meat – Use your fingers to get inside the shell to loosen the meat and pull it up through the opening without completely separating it from the shell. Close the shell and place the meat over the top of the shell. Set the tails aside.
- Spices – Combine the salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, garlic and onion powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly. (Photo 2)
- Season – Generously season the lobster tail meat with the spice blend on both sides. (Photo 3)
Bread and Deep-Fry
- Egg Wash – Add the buttermilk and egg to a shallow medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine them. (Photo 4)
- Breading – Add the remaining spices to a medium bowl along with the cornmeal and all-purpose flour. Mix well. (Photo 5)
- Dip and Dredge – Place the seasoned lobster tails in the buttermilk mixture, then coat the lobster tails in the seasoned cornmeal, shaking off excess breading. (Photos 6-7)
- Fry – Deep fry 1-2 lobster tails at a time for 4-5 minutes in your hot oil until they’re crispy. (Photo 8)
- Drain – Remove the fried tails from the pan and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
- Repeat the process with the remaining lobster tail.
Garlic Butter Sauce
- Melt Butter – Add the butter, garlic, and parsley in a small microwave-safe bowl and zap it for 30-45 seconds until the butter melts. (Photo 9)
- Final Touch – Remove the bowl from the microwave, and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine. (Photo 10)
- Serve fried lobster tails with garlic butter sauce and lemon wedges, and enjoy. 🍋
- Skip the heat. If you’re not into spicy food, leave out the Creole seasoning and cayenne pepper. You can add a different spice mix to the recipe if you’d like, such as Old Bay or lemon pepper seasoning.
- Fresh out of cornmeal or not a fan? Replace it with Panko bread crumbs, plain bread crumbs, or a cracker meal.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t overcook the lobster tail, rendering them tough and chewy. They cook in just a few minutes. Need a better indicator they’re done? The flesh will become opaque, but if the breading obscures it, then look for a bright red shell instead. When the shell turns red, the meat is cooked. 🦞
- Use an oil with a neutral flavor and a high smoke point. Oils that work well for this recipe include canola, peanut, or vegetable oil.
- Make sure you add enough oil to submerge the lobster tails but don’t overfill your cooking pot. You want to leave a few inches between the oil and the top of the pan to keep any splatters inside the pan.
As with most fried foods, these lobster tails are best hot off the stove, so I don’t recommend making them ahead. However, you can certainly mix up your spices and breading flour the night before. Keep them in airtight containers on the countertop until you’re ready to start frying.
Another make-ahead option? Bread the lobster tails and freeze them immediately. They can stay good in the freezer for up to three months. When you take them out to fry, don’t defrost them. Toss them straight into the frying pan so they don’t go soggy on you. Keep in mind you’ll need to cook them for a few extra minutes since they’re going in frozen.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve these lobster tails hot with lots of lemon wedges and plenty of butter garlic sauce! If you have leftovers (not likely), refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Leftovers reheat best in a 300℉/150℃ oven until just warmed through. Baking them will crisp up the breading a little, vs. microwaving, which won’t crisp the breading at all.
Some recipes recommend this to eliminate any fishy taste, but I think the buttermilk egg wash does the trick. Besides, lobster is supposed to have that decadent seafood flavor. The wash gives you an even breading and tender lobster. 😋
It’s a good idea to scrub off the shells a bit. But don’t wash the meat or submerge the shells when cleaning. Otherwise, the lobster meat could soak up the water and get mushy.
Absolutely yes. You can bread and fry scallops, calamari, shrimp, oysters, and even whole fish using this method.
What Goes With Fried Lobster Tail
More Lavish Lobster Recipes to Try
Get ready to feel like an uh-mazing cook with this one! One taste and your family will agree you’ve reached chef status. In the market for more fun dinner recipes like this one? Check me out on social media. I always post new recipes on Facebook and Instagram, so I’d love to see you there. 😘
Fried Lobster Tail
- ½ cup (80g) cornmeal
- ¼ cup (30g) flour
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (.5g) black pepper
- ½ teaspoon (2g) Creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon (2g) garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon (2g) onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon (.5g) cayenne pepper
- ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 3-4 lobster tails, in the shell (about 1 pound)
- 2 quarts (2l) oil, for deep-frying
- 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- Butterfly lobster tail by making a slit lengthwise with kitchen shears through the center top of the shell, stopping just before hitting the tail fins. Use your fingers to get inside the shell and loosen the meat, pulling it up through the opening without completely taking it out of the shell. Close the shell and arrange the meat over the top of it. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, garlic and onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix to combine fully.
- Generously season the lobster tail meat with the spice blend on both sides. Then add the remaining spices to a medium bowl along with the cornmeal and all-purpose flour. Mix well.
- Add buttermilk and egg in a shallow medium bowl and whisk to combine. Place the seasoned lobster tails in buttermilk, then coat the lobster tails in the seasoned cornmeal, shaking off the excess.
- Heat the oil to 350℉/177℃. Deep fry 1 or 2 lobster tails at a time for 4-5 minutes until crispy. Remove and place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Repeat the process with the remaining lobster tails.
- Add the butter, garlic, and parsley in a small microwave-safe bowl and zap it for 30-45 seconds until it melts.
- Remove from the microwave, add lemon juice, and stir to combine.
- Serve fried lobster tails with garlic butter sauce and lemon wedges, and enjoy.