Spiny Lobster Taco recipe

When I sent this recipe to my marketing guru/friend, Tori, for a preview, she thought I mis-spelled Spiny for Spicy! I got a chuckle out of it this, and if you’re familiar with Florida Spiny lobster, then you probably did too. But if you aren’t familiar with this warm-water crustacean, then you might have thought I meant spicy, too. Either way, if you like fish tacos, then you’re going to love my Spiny Lobster tacos. 

Oh yeah, they are spicy, too.

I created this recipe along with an historical tale of Spiny lobster for the 2011 Fall Issue of Edible Orlando magazine.


Serves 4-6

Total cook/prep time: 60 minutes

Special tools: Kitchen Shears, long tongs, immersion blender or food processor.


Lobster tacos are fresh, decadent and are the perfect way to impress your family and guests. Create a festive taco station in your kitchen by arranging the food around the table for self serve. Complement the taco station with a bowl of tortilla chips (you’ll have extra avocado cream for dipping), yellow rice and black beans. Serve with lemonade, beer, margaritas or all.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 3 six ounce lobster tails, steamed, meat removed from shell, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 2 ½ teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas, small
  • Lime, halved


  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions and season with chipotle pepper, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper. Stir and cook the onions until they’re soft and the butter/oil is absorbed in the onions, about fifteen minutes. Stir occasionally. Two minutes before the onions are finished, add the minced garlic and stir to release the aroma and essence. Remove the onions and garlic from heat, place in a small serving bowl and set at the taco station.
  • Wipe the skillet clean with several, dry paper towels to remove any remaining onion and/or oil. Use this skillet to warm the tortillas later.
  • While the onions are cooking, bring water, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large stock pot. Add a steam tray to the pot. The water should be at the same level as the tray, about 1 inch of water. When the water is boiling, place the lobster tails on the tray, cover the pot and steam the tails for eight minutes.
  • Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed and scoop the pulp of both halves into a food processor or into a container for an immersion blender. Add the sour cream and blend until smooth and creamy. Cover the avocado cream with plastic wrap to the surface of the mix to avoid discoloration. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • Create a taco station by arranging the following ingredients in bowls.
  • Place the shredded Napa cabbage at the taco station.
  • Put the seeded, chopped tomato in a bowl.
  • Add the chopped cilantro to the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes and cilantro with salt and pepper. Set at taco station.
  • Remove the lobster from the pan with tongs and place the lobster tails in a bowl to cool and drain, about two-three minutes.
  • While the lobster is cooling, heat the skillet on low heat. Keep the skillet dry. Heat tortillas two minutes each side. Place warm tortillas in a ceramic container or foil and cover.
  • Use a towel to hold the hot lobster tails. Cut down the back and the belly of the lobster tail with kitchen shears. Remove the meat from the tail and chop it into bite size pieces. Place in a bowl at the taco station.
  • Remove the avocado cream from the refrigerator and place at the taco station.
  • Now you’re ready to build the tacos.
  • Arrange the tortillas on plates. Spread a small amount of avocado onto each tortilla. Add Napa cabbage, onions & garlic, tomato mix and then the lobster.
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice over the taco.
  • Serve immediately.
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