Grilled Lobster with Tamarind


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

This will impress friends and family with its wonderful sweet and sour flavour. I love the fruitiness that the tamarind brings to this dish. The sauce is also good with other seafood such as crabs and prawns.


  • 1 × 700–800 g (1 lb 9–12 oz) live lobster
  • 2½ tablespoons tamarind water
  • 2 coriander (cilantro) roots, scraped and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 red shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2½ tablespoons grated palm sugar (jaggery)
  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • a pinch of chilli powder


    Kill the lobster humanely, halve lengthways and clean well.

    Pound the coriander roots, garlic and shallots in a mortar with a pestle to form a fine paste. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok until just smoking and stir-fry the paste until fragrant, then add the palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind water, chilli powder and 4 tablespoons water. Bring to the boil, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

    Heat a grill or barbecue to hot. Brush the lobsters with the remaining oil and place them, cut-side-down, on the grill. Cook for 3–4 minutes, then turn and cook until just cooked through. Leave to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place.

    Chop each lobster half into three pieces and arrange on a plate. Drizzle the sauce over the top to serve.