Longostas Enchiladas

Lobster in Spicy Tomato Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Eating Cuban

Eating Cuban

By Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs

Published 2006

  • About

Lobsters are abundant in Cuban waters, but since the bulk of the catch is exported, they are a delicacy that seldom reaches the table of ordinary Cubans. Even in expensive government tourist restaurants and paladares (private restaurants), where the prices are in convertible pesos, lobster is not officially on the menu, though it is often offered verbally as a special. One of the most traditional Cuban recipes for both lobster and shrimp is this simple preparation with a sofrito of onion and bell pepper in a spicy, but not incendiary, tomato sauce. We have been fortunate to taste excellent langostas enchiladas both in Havana and Miami. Serve the lobster with hot fluffy white or yellow rice.


  • 3 pounds (4 or 5) Florida lobster tails
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • cups chopped white onions
  • cups chopped bell peppers (red, green, yellow, or a combination)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
  • 1 to 2 ajis cahucha, seeded and minced; or 1⁄8 to ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


With a sharp chef’s knife, cut through the shell and flesh of the lobster tails at each joint, dividing them into sections. Use a toothpick or small skewer to push out the reddish vein that runs down the back of each segment of the tail.

In a large, heavy sauté pan or deep skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the lobster sections and sauté until the shells turn red, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until the onions turn translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, wine, vinegar, garlic, chile, and sugar. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of the parsley; cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes, until the lobster meat is firm and opaque. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Sprinkle the lobster with the remaining parsley and serve immediately.