Lobster Paella

Fresh Lobster

The European, or Common Lobster (Homarus Gammarus) is a very prized crustacean among Spaniards, and is a very close relative to the American Lobster (Homarus Americanus), and can measure up to 2 feet (60cm). Thanks to its large claws and its tasty carapace, it offers many really exquisite culinary possibilities. It is less common than the American variety and is only caught in the Eastern Atlantic, and so it is harder to find in the markets. Nonetheless, one may be substituted for the other.
The recipe I am giving you today, is a classic of Catalan cuisine. I suggest you always use a live lobster, however if for personal/ethical reasons you do not wish to do this, then it is preferable to freeze it first. When I make this dish at Catacurian, I do freeze it first so as to avoid any problems with people’s sensitivities.
A truly exquisite dish!


Ingredients (2 people):

– 1 Lobster
– 1 onion – finely chopped
– 1 red pepper – chopped
– 2 garlic cloves – minced
– 2 ripe tomatoes – grated
– 1/2 glass cognac
– Saffron
– Olive Oil
– Fish broth (4 measures for each measure of rice. We want the dish to end up brothy)
– 200 gr. (7 oz) Bomba rice


The ideal for this dish is to use a deep “Paella” or a cast iron pot.
Cut the lobster in half, lengthwise, separate the head, and cut the body into 3 pieces. Salt the pieces, and sauté in olive oil in the pot until they change color, then immediately remove and dry the pieces and put aside in a plate.
In the same oil, fry the onion, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Thereafter add the peppers and when they are soft, add the grated tomatoes. Let this “sofrito” cook until it caramelizes, the flambé in the Cognac. Allow the alcohol to evaporate, then add the rice and stir all the ingredients thoroughly so that the rice absorbs the flavors. Add the fish broth and the saffron, then lay the lobster carefully on top. Allow to cook for 18 to 20 minutes depending on the rice. Turn off the flame and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve in the pot, at the table.