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Spiny Lobster

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ericdunn Jul 16, 2011 08:06 AM

Has anyone ever tasted spiny lobster before? What is the taste like compared to American lobster? Where to buy in GTA? And how much a pound?

  1. skylineR33 Jul 16, 2011 09:19 AM

    It has no comparison, the meat of the green spiny lobster has a much richer sweeter and tastier flavor than lobster from Boston or Nova Scotia, but it is smaller in size as you cannot found a 8 or 12 pound like those giant American lobster. It is also much more expensive. I have not tried it in Toronto as I have not seen it fresh and alive here, I have only tried it in HK, but availability is getting less and less.

    11 Replies
    1. re: skylineR33
      j
      jmarcroyal Jul 16, 2011 09:59 AM

      hmm, Ive tried the spiny lobster,and maybe it was because of how it was prepared or something, but I didnt find it nearly as good as our north american lobsters either from the maritimes or maine etc..,

      I just found the meat to be more bland then anything, not as sweet.

      1. re: jmarcroyal
        skylineR33 Jul 16, 2011 10:02 AM

        There are different kinds of spiny lobster. Is yours cooked from alive or from frozen ?

        1. re: skylineR33
          j
          jmarcroyal Jul 16, 2011 10:06 AM

          it was frozen I think, which might be the only way you get em around here.

        2. re: jmarcroyal
          Toshiro Jul 16, 2011 10:41 AM

          Hey there...I live in the Bahamas and have been using Spiny Lobster (Crawfish in these parts) for the last 5 years. I just had Maritime lobster for the first time in 5 years in NYC about 2 weeks ago...I have found the spiny lobster is inconsistent as they are speared when caught and not kept alive (or in perfect storage condition) as the maritime are (they are also a lot harder [more dangerous] to handle do to hard barbed spines - reason why they are speared). That said they can be killed and sit for a long time, this has great effect on the texture and flavour of the meat. I have personally tested this theory and found that spiny lobsters that sit awhile break down (meat also darkens fast) and both feels jiggly when cooked and tastes mushy when cooked. The sooner from the spear to the pan the better. I also find that the spiny is firmer (better for sashimi as well). The claws I fined are more refined in taste and the tomalley of the maritime mustard if much more flavourful. I also have the luxury of buying fresh on the roadside (from a known vendor)...where in T.O. you would be getting frozen...at the end of the day the freezing definitely affects both texture and taste. I would sum up that I like spiny (tails only of course - no claws) for sashimi and deep fried items...maritime claws for pasta and risotto and and maritime tails for stews, casseroles, sauteed items and terrines

          1. re: Toshiro
            j
            jmarcroyal Jul 16, 2011 11:08 AM

            as far as just the meat, mainly the tail, which do you figure would be best just dipped in a bit of garlic butter?

            I just think the maritime lobster is so sweet and tasty, and I didnt have a good experience with spiny lobster. Ive always wanted to travel to the caribbean, hopefully I can try it fresh when im there!

            1. re: jmarcroyal
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              erly Jul 16, 2011 11:52 AM

              I much prefer the Maritime Lobster to the Spiny Lobster.
              When properly cooked our Lobsters are a thing of Beauty!
              Steamed, served with butter or my preference cooked with Green Onion and Ginger. .
              I have also been served the Blue Lobsters which to me were as sweet but not better than ours.
              The only exception according to my taste Buds are the very large South African Crawfish, which Fresh are even sweeter..

              1. re: jmarcroyal
                skylineR33 Jul 16, 2011 10:24 PM

                You have to understand there are many types of spiny lobster (family "Palinuridae"), the one you found in Caribbean is not the same as the one you find in Australia, or China or Japan ....... they do not taste the same. I am not sure what kinds of "Spiny Lobster" the other people talk about here, but the one I am talking about is Panulirus Stimpsoni (aka China Green Spiny Lobster). It is common consensus (at least among Hong Kong food industry and foodies, as you can found lots of variety of Lobster there) that this is among the best kind of Lobster in terms of meat quality, but of course others may have different opinion.

                1. re: skylineR33
                  e
                  erly Jul 17, 2011 07:24 AM

                  Hi Skyline,
                  This could become like the Bagel discussion, personal taste and what you grew up with.
                  The Blue Lobster is really a Crawfish (although Blue Lobsters, a rarity actually do exist, but I don't think anyone eats them as they are such a novelty).
                  I have eaten the Spiny Lobster in Hong Kong, as well as the SE Asian Variety, and like them all fresh from the Sea.
                  That is the bottom line really.
                  Nothing tastes the same after being frozen.
                  Have never seen a live Spiny Lobster or a decent sized Crrawfish in Toronto.

                  1. re: erly
                    skylineR33 Jul 17, 2011 07:53 AM

                    Restaurant rarely use China Spiny green lobster in HK nowaday, it is expensive and getting less and less, usually they use the Australia type or South Africa type, which sells at a lower price but of course quality cannot be compared (as reflect in its price). And restaurant do not listed out what type of lobster they use, unless you know what you are eating and ask. Blue Lobster is also a type of spiny lobster, "Panulirus Versicolor", it is pretty common in Asia.

                    1. re: skylineR33
                      e
                      erly Jul 17, 2011 08:25 AM

                      I have definitely eaten the China Spiny green Lobster in H.K., but many years ago at a Seafood Banquet thrown by our Host, it went on for hours, and the different types of Lobster, Crawfish, exotic fish, etc were served and explained to us.
                      The only place we eat Blue Lobster is France.
                      Must ask Rostang where they originate.
                      Have you seen any live Spiny Lobster or Crawfish fresh, not frozen in T.O.?

                      1. re: erly
                        skylineR33 Jul 17, 2011 08:51 AM

                        Unfortunately, I have not seen any spiny lobster live in Toronto.

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