Lobster Tempura Tacos
Decided my first taco Tuesday post had to be on the Tuesday of all Tuesdays.
This dish was inspired by Nami, a character from One Piece. She's the best navigator of all the seas. My mind said duh, seafood for the protein. She loves money, so I went with a gold rimmed plate. She loves tangerines (It's officially tangelo season!). I used citrus in 5 applications. Boom. A dish was born.
Lobster Tempura Tacos
No long story. Let's jump straight into the recipe. Use 1, 2, or all components- up to you. You could just make the lobster tempura to accompany your fried rice or spicy cucumber salad. Make the batter right before frying. Tag @enviebymincey if you share taco pics. This symbol denotes an affiliate link. If you purchase from the site, I earn a small commission.
Cabbage & Tarragon Slaw
1/2 head of purple cabbage, shaved super thin (by hand or use a food processor)
3-4 sprigs of whole tarragon leaves, removed from the stems
Add the cabbage and tarragon to a bowl. Add the dressing right before plating. Tarragon is paired specifically for the lobster tacos. If you switch the protein, also switch the herb. Lean to cilantro/scallions for chicken or pork.
My Citrus aioli dressing is below. Even quicker recipe: Kewpie Mayo (buy it!) + Honey + Rice wine vinegar
The rice wine vinegar from Trader Joe's is basura (trash) please do not buy that one.
For 2 pieces per lobster tail:
Take kitchen shears and cut directly up the middle of the shell. Take a chef's knife and finish cracking through the other side. Remove the meat from both halves. Clean by removing any central waste from the lobster. Time to prep your batter.
For 3 pieces per lobster tail (as pictured in the recipe photos):
Take kitchen shears. Flip the tail upside in your hand. Cut along the left and right side of the shell. Remove the center piece of shell. Then, carefully remove the meat from the shell. Gently slide out the bottom of the tail keeping the whole tail intact. Click here for a video demonstration.
The bottom of the tail is rounded in shape. Go up about an inch to an inch and a half from there. Slice the bottom piece off. Then, slice the remaining tail meat in half. Clean out any waste. Each tail makes 3 tacos this way. **You can also do large lobster chunks or swap for shrimp/vegetables. Time to prep your batter.
For 4 pieces per lobster tail:
Take kitchen shears and cut directly up the middle of the shell. Take a chef's knife and finish cracking through the other side. Remove the meat. Clean out any waste. Cut each half in half again for 4 lobster chunks. Time to prep your batter.
Homemade Tempura Batter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (92g)
1/4 cup cornstarch (32g)
1/4 cup rice flour (24g) (or just use 1/2 cup total of cornstarch)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, from the fridge
2 tbsp. rum or vodka, ice cold
3/4 cup club soda, ice cold
1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the egg and the rum. Whisk or mix with chopsticks. Whisk in the cold club soda. (I added ice cubes to my club soda. Swirled the glass around, then immediately strained it and poured it into the dry mix.) Your batter should be loose & runny. Use the batter right away. This was the very last item I made.
Click here to order Premade Mix online.
1 cup additional all- purpose flour or rice flour
Lemon or Orange to zest on top
1. Heat your grease to 335F degrees. If you drop a few droplets of tempura batter in the oil, and they drop to the bottom and then come back to the top, the oil is not ready. Once droplets enter the hot oil, and the batter immediately starts to sizzle and scatter at the top of oil, your oil is ready.
2. Dip your lobster into the additional flour. Coat evenly. Knock off excess. Next, dip the lobster into the tempura batter. Let excess drip off the lobster. Slowly add the lobster into the oil. Wave the piece back and forth in the oil before releasing. Your lobster is ready when it's lightly golden all around. This should take 4-5 minutes as long as you sliced your lobster into pieces as instructed earlier. Repeat with a few more pieces; do NOT crowd your pot.
3. In between batches, always check to make sure your oil is still ready by checking with a few drops of batter.
4. Add a cooling rack to a cookie sheet. Remove the lobster from the oil. Set onto a cooling rack; do not set them on paper towels. Immediately salt and zest. Cook all remaining lobster pieces, salt, and serve with warm tortillas.
Check out these tacos on videos on social.
Tortilla --> Aioli --> Dressed Slaw --> Lobster Tempura -> Garnish with Scallions & Lemon/Tangerine zest
It's Tangelo Season! Here are Citrus Recipes to pair with these tacos.
Several people have pointed out how much they notice citrus in my recipes. I'm a Flawda baby what can I say. Here's a few competitions I won making citrus the star.
2016: 1st Place Florida National Taste Challenge
2018: Masterchef S9 First mystery box challenge (Rep your state challenge; Oranges were the secret ingredient)
2018: Masterchef S9 Citrus Dessert Challenge (Sweet Basket challenge- all varieties of citrus)
2023: I'll be the new rep for Florida Orange Juice - might as well speak this into existence, am I right?
Citrus Soy Dipping Sauce !!!!
1/4 cup fresh tangerine/orange/tangelo juice, strained or with pulp (up to you)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. ginger juice (or grate in some fresh ginger) Optional: You can add cayenne instead.
Bring all the ingredients up to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and pour into a side dish for dipping. It's ready. Great for pork and chicken too.
Citrus Aioli Dressing
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Dijon or herb mustard
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. tangelo or lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable or avocado oil
Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
If you don't want to make your own aioli, order some Kewpie mayo online.
Tangelo Tarragon Finishing Salt
Zest of 1 Tangelo/Tangerine/Orange/Lemon
1 Sprig of tarragon
1/2 tbsp of coarse salt
Coffee or spice grinder
Zest one tangelo. Let it sit out on the counter loosely covered with a paper towel to dry overnight.
Grind everything together, and use. Store in a dry, cool place. If you want to upgrade your salt game, check out Maldon salt (traditional or smoked salt). A little goes a long way.