Try this delicious take on a classic bisque by using Trader Joe’s langostino tails for a quick and easy, yet decadent soup recipe.
Seafood lovers gather round! If you’re looking for a langostino recipe that’s simple to assemble but has layers of flavor, then you absolutely need to be saving and trying this dish.
If you enjoy eating well but want to mind the budget, swapping traditional lobster meat for langostino lobster tails instead is an affordable way to still get your fix.
While langostino lobster tails aren’t truly lobster (they’re in the shrimp family actually), they have a similar taste to lobster therefore making it a viable swap.
Find all the information below in this article on where to purchase your langostino, how to prepare it, and the best way to use them in place of lobster, shrimp or another seafood for this bisque recipe. Let’s dive in!
- Chef’s Knife and Cutting Board
- Large Bowl
- Strainer or Colander
- Large Pot
- Whisk or Wooden Spoon
- Measuring Cups/ Spoons
- Paper Towels
- Immersion Blender or Stand Blender
What is langostino lobster?
While langostino literally translates from Spanish to English as “little lobster”, it is actually in the prawn family and not a lobster at all.
These little crustaceans are also sometimes referred to as squat lobsters as well.
No matter what you call them (besides delicious), they actually look similar to a crawfish or classic shrimp with a taste and tenderness similar to traditional lobster.
Where can I buy langostino tails?
If you love to roam around the isles of Trader Joe’s, then it’s likely you’ve come across the frozen precooked and ready to eat langostinos they sell in their freezer section. This can be your go to Trader Joe langostino tails recipe!
Don’t have a TJ’s where you live? You can also buy a larger bag that’s slightly cheaper in comparison at Costco as well.
I buy the 16 oz. bag from Trader Joe’s and keep a few on hand in my freezer and use in place of shrimp (or in this case for this bisque). Because the tails are frozen and precooked they require less prep and defrost easily in a bowl of cold water.
Pat them fully dry with paper towels before using in your recipe when they are ready to be added to your bisque.
- 1 lb. Fresh or Frozen Langostino Tails: You can use raw langostino for this recipe, but you will want to pre-cook them prior to adding them into the bisque (notes below).
- Fish Stock or Vegetable Stock: A fish stock is traditionally going to have a much better flavor, but I find that any vegetable stock is a decent substitute in this recipe. You can make your own fish stock too.
- Dry White Wine: Wine adds a lot of flavor to your bisque, but you can omit if desired.
- Heavy Cream: The cream balances out some of the acidity and helps create a rich and creamy final texture.
- Mirepoix (Carrots, Celery, Onion): This traditional combination is the base to most soups and stocks. It’s what adds a lot of flavor to your dish and will get blended in to create a smooth broth.
- Fresh Garlic: I love a lot of garlic minced for this recipe.
- Olive Oil: I use this to sauté the veggies in at the start of the recipe.
- Butter: This is for your roux base to help thicken your bisque.
- Flour: You can use gluten free flour or keto friendly flour as a sub if needed.
- Tomato Paste: Adds some flavor and acidity.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chives, and tarragon
- 1. Start by defrosting your Langostinos in a bowl of cold water. I usually dump the water 1-2 times until they are fully defrosted and then pat them dry with a paper towel.
- 2. Once your langostinos are defrosted, heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sauté garlic and add the langostino tails to the pan and cook gently for 1-2 minutes to add flavor (or cook until opaque if they are raw).
- 3. Season your tails with a little salt and pepper. Do not over cook and set them aside (they can finish cooking when added to the final dish).
- 4. Begin by sauteing your mirepoix in the olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add your garlic, herbs, and spices and allow them to cook over dry heat for 1-2 minutes.
- 5. Stir in your tomato paste and cook until the mixture is fragrant, another 1-2 minutes before adding the flour. Use a spatula or spoon to allow the flour to cook into the mixture (but not burn). The mixture should be somewhat paste like in your pot at this point.
- 6. Add in the wine and stir continuously until the mixture begins to simmer gently. Add in your fish stock (or veggie stock) and allow it to return to a simmer again.
- 7. Cook this mixture on medium low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to fully blend all of your veggies together into the stock mixture until smooth.
- 8. Add in your heavy cream with your pot off the heat and then test taste and adjust any seasonings as desired.
- 9. Finish the bisque off by adding in the cooked langostino tails before serving. Pour your soup into bowls and serve with fresh chives or dill and some crispy bread!
- 1 lb. Langostino Tails Precooked or Raw
- 4 tbsp Butter Divided
- 4 cloves Garlic Minced, divided
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Carrots Diced small
- 1/2 cup Celery Diced small
- 1 cup Onion Diced small
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 tbsp Flour Use gluten free or keto friendly flour as desired
- 2.5 cups Fish or Vegetable Stock
- 1 cup Dry White Wine I used sauvignon blanc
- 1.5 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Tarragon
- 1 tsp Fresh Chives Save extra for garnish
Prepping the Langostino Tails
- Begin by defrosting your langostino tails (if frozen) in a bowl of cold water. Replaces 1-2 times until they are fully defrosted and then pat them dry fully with paper towels. If using raw tails, also pat them dry.
- In a pan, add 2 tbsp. of butter to medium heat and add 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pan. Toss in the raw or cooked langostino tails. If cooked, only coat and season in the butter mixture for about 1-2 minutes max. If raw, cook until opaque (about 4-5 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl and set it aside.
Making the Bisque
- In a large pot, add your olive oil and heat it to medium high heat.
- Add in your mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion). Cook about 4-5 minutes then add your remaining minced garlic and sauté another 30-60 sec.
- Season with the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, tarragon, and chives. Cook 30 sec.
- Mix in your tomato paste and then add in the flour so everything is fully coated. The mixture will be pretty thick.
- Pour in the white wine and stir the veggies into the liquid. Allow the wine to come to a simmer. Then add your stock.
- Bring the mixture back to a simmer and let it reduce down for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blend, fully blend the veggies into the stock. You can use a standard blender but you have to cautious when blending hot liquids so they do not pressurize and burn you.
- Once the stock is fully pureed, test taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then add in your heavy cream and taste test again.
- You can leave the bisque off the heat and add the langostinos into the pot and stir until it's fully combined.
- Serve with crusty bread and top with fresh chives if desired.