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Grilled Split Lobsters with Lime Aioli Recipe

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Total Time: Under 1 Hour
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Splurge
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 Grilled Split Lobsters with Lime Aioli

This is more method than recipe, but when you’ve tried lobsters grilled this way; you’ll want to prepare them often. (Just remember that at the height of grill season—summer—lobsters are molting and not at their sweet, meaty best; try to make this in late fall or early spring—or even winter—instead.) I like these as the main course of an informally messy meal for two, but you can also serve half a lobster per person as a starter, or pair half-lobsters with other grilled seafood.

Yield: Serves 2 to 4


  • Salt
  • 2 (1¾-pound) live lobsters
  • ¼ cup Lime Cream
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
  • 8 to 12 (5-inch) corn tortillas

Smoking chip option:

  • Apple


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it lightly. Drop the lobsters headfirst into the boiling water. Cover, return to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to a work surface. Using a clean kitchen towel to protect your hands, split the lobsters in half lengthwise with a long, sharp knife. Crack the claws.

2. Meanwhile, light a direct-heat charcoal fire and let it burn down to medium-hot (5 seconds to “ouch”) or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Position the rack about 6 inches above the heat source. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

3. When the grill is ready, lay the lobsters, cut sides-up, on the rack. Cover and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the lobsters cut sides-down, cover, and continue to grill until the lobster meat is just cooked through while remaining moist, another 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, wrap the com tortillas in foil, dividing them into 2 packets. Heat them in the oven until supple and warm, about 10 minutes. Stir together the lime cream and the garlic in a small bowl.

5. Transfer the lobsters to plates. Serve, accompanied by the aioli and the tortillas. Encourage guests to use the tortillas to form small tacos, of lobster meat topped with the aioli.

© 2000 Michael McLaughlin

Editor's Note

Nutritional information is based on 4 servings and includes 8 (5-inch) corn tortillas. Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include lime cream. For nutritional information on lime cream, please follow the link above.


Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

194kcal (10%)
87mg (9%)
0mg (0%)
21mcg RAE (1%)
93mg (31%)
602mg (25%)
0g (2%)
2g (3%)
1mg (5%)

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