Poached Lobster Tails with Lemon Butter Sauce

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 50 mins

A quick dunk in flavorful boiling liquid and a spicy butter make lobster even more special.

lobster tail
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

This bath makes enough to poach 12 to 16 lobster tails. Cut bath ingredients in half to accommodate fewer tails.


12 cups water
4 cups white wine
2 lemons, cut in half
2 to 3 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic
3 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
12 to 16 lobster tails
Lemon Butter Sauce
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt


  1. To prepare lobster, place all ingredients (except lobster) in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until onions are softened, about 45 minutes.
  2. To prepare lobster tails for bath, use kitchen scissors to cut up the center of the thin cartilage on the underside of the tail and snip off the flippers. Gently crack the base of the tail backwards to make it easier to remove meat after poaching. Rinse well.
  3. Plunge lobster into gently boiling bath; poach 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off heat and allow tails to remain in warm bath until serving time.
  4. To prepare sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in lemon juice, hot sauce, cayenne and salt. Keep warm. Serve in separate dipping bowls.

Recipe by Nancy Vienneau.



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