You may be surprised to learn that the cold waters and lochs of Scotland produce over a third of the world’s langoustines.

Pre-Covid the bulk of that catch was packaged and sent direct by refrigerated trucks to markets in Spain, Italy, and France.

We all love grilled langoustines, dripping with garlic butter, served with a chilled white wine. But, frustratingly, it has always been difficult to find fresh live shellfish at home.

This has all changed in the last few months. When lockdown started the European markets closed. Our fishing fleet tied up and our fish shops closed.

But gradually the tide has turned. Enterprising fishermen realised that there is a market at home after all.

We are very keen to get our hands on good ingredients, and we are prepared to cook what we love to enjoy on holiday here at home.

Using social media and the internet you can find news of boats that are coming into harbour and, armed with a plastic ‘bag for life’ or a cool box you can get a catch of fresh langoustines and lobsters right off the boats.

If you can’t get to a harbour, try the many next day deliveries online and get the langoustines delivered to your door.

They are not cheap, but you won’t need to pay the air fare to Spain.


For 2 people


I kilo large live langoustines, 8-10 per person (or more)

120g unsalted butter

1-2 cloves new season garlic, finely chopped

A large bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

Juice and rind of an unwaxed lemon and another lemon to serve


Lay each langoustine belly side down on a chopping board. Use a sharp knife to cut through the shell from behind the head to the tail, taking care not to cut it in half.

Rinse in cold water and remove the dark vein running down the centre.

Place each langoustine shell side down in a single layer of a grill with a tray.

Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Pre-heat the grill to highest level.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, take off the heat and infuse the chopped garlic, lemon juice and grated rind.

Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Add half the chopped parsley.

Brush this butter over the langoustines

Place at the top of the grill for 5-10 minutes until the flesh is opaque and the shells are starting to crisp.

Dress with the rest of the chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Serve with crusty French bread and a watercress and grapefruit salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.