These fried lobster tails are golden crispy and so delicious! They only take 20 minutes from start to finish. This recipe looks fancy and gourmet, but it is incredibly quick and easy. These lobster tails are fresh, flavorful, and served with a tasty garlic butter sauce!

Fried lobster tails with lemon and garlic butter

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These fried lobster tails are so quick and easy!
  • They feel sophisticated and will wow your family and friends.
  • These tails are incredibly flavorful.
  • The breading is crispy and golden brown.
  • These are a delicacy and family favorite, especially if you are from Maine like I am!
  • You can easily make this with frozen lobster tails. Thaw before use.
  • This recipe is gluten free (with gluten free flour) and nut free.
  • Check out this Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass for another great seafood recipe!

Ingredients & Substitutions

These are a few of the key ingredients in these fried lobster tails. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and directions.

Both fresh and frozen lobster tails work. If using frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight beforehand. See below for lobster buying tips and how to butterfly lobster. If you have extra lobster meat, check out this Lobster Ravioli Sauce.

Choose your desired oil. Canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, and olive oil are great for frying. I used olive oil.

Both gluten free 1 to 1 flour and all purpose flour work for the breading. I used gluten free since I am gluten free.

Old Bay seasoning contains celery salt, red pepper flakes, ground pepper, paprika and several other spices. Consider making your own homemade version or use pepper and paprika in its place.

Ingredients for lobster

Tips for Buying Lobster

Both fresh and frozen lobster tails can be used. Here are some tips for buying lobster.

There are hard shell lobsters and soft shell lobsters. Hard shell lobsters have fully grown into their shell, thus containing more meat. These lobsters ship well.

Soft shell lobsters have recently shed an old shell and have yet to fully grow into their new shell. These softer shells allow water to get in between the shell and the meat. These lobsters do not ship well and are best eaten locally.

The differences between male and female lobsters is not noticeable after cooking. Females contain roe, or their eggs, which can be seen as a delicacy.

Cold water lobsters from places like Maine contain whiter meat. The meat itself is easier to work with due to its firmer texture. On the other hand, warm water lobster tails contain more meat, but it is more mushy.

Taste & Texture

These fried lobster tails taste both like lobster and fried food. The squeeze of lemon juice adds a pop of fresh flavor. The garlic butter sauce is the perfect dipping sauce!

These tails are crispy and crunchy, whereas the meat inside is tender.

How to Butterfly Lobster

To butterfly the lobster, follow these steps.

  • Place lobsters shell side up with the tails facing away from you.
  • Use kitchen scissors to cut through the center of the lobster shells. When you hit the tail, stop cutting.
  • Flip lobsters over. Run your finger between the shell and the meat, loosening it up. Do not tear meat from shell; it should still be loosely attached.
  • Finally, lift the meat up on top of the shell.

How to Make

Step 1

First, butterfly the lobster tails. Using kitchen shears with the lobster tails facing away from you, cut through lobster shell in a straight line.

Scissors cutting lobster tails

Step 2

Carefully using hands to pull lobster meat up on top of the lobster shell. Lobster shells are sharp so please be careful!

Lobster flesh with shells

Step 3

Once lobster meat is nicely settled on top of lobster shells, make egg wash and flour mixture.

Step 4

In a shallow bowl, add milk and egg. Whisk until combined. In another bowl, stir together flour and Old Bay seasoning.

Step 5

Dip each tail first into the dry mixture. Coat completely on all sides.

Lobster covered in flour mixture

Step 6

Then, dip each tail into the egg wash mixture. Coat completely.

Seafood in egg wash

Step 7

Dip each tail back into the dry mixture. Coat completely.

Floured fish in bowl

Step 8

Once lobster is prepared, heat oil in a pot on the stovetop. Once oil has reached about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, use tongs or slotted spoon to carefully place lobster tails in oil.

Deep fried lobster in pot

Step 9

Fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until shells turn red and lobster meat is opaque.

Deep fried food in pot

Step 10

Use slotted spoon to remove lobster tails to a plate. To make garlic butter, stir together melted butter and minced garlic.

Garlic butter sauce

Step 11

Finally, serve fried lobster tails with garlic butter and lemon wedge.

Expert Tips & Tricks

Follow the tips above for how to butterfly lobster. This creates a stunning presentation!

Fully coat lobster tails in both the dry mixture and egg wash, then the dry mixture again. This yields an extra crispy coating.

Heat olive oil to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit before carefully placing lobster tails in pot.

If tails are not fully submerged in oil, carefully flip over tails halfway through cooking. This ensures even cooking. I like to use a slotted spoon to handle the fried lobster tails.

Golden fried lobster tails

At Home Frying Tips

Use an oil that is great for frying. These oils include canola, corn, peanut, and olive oil.

Heat oil in pan before adding food. Heat oil until about 350 degrees Fahrenheit before dropping in lobster tails. This allows them to immediately start frying.

Use a deep fry thermometer for best results.

Use enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and submerge food at least halfway. The oil does not necessarily have to fully cover the food.

Do not drop or throw food into the hot oil. It will splash and it’s very hot!

How to Serve & Store

Serve fried lobster tails hot from the pot! They are best immediately after frying.

Serve with garlic butter, drawn butter, garlic aioli, and a wedge of lemon.

Make it surf and turf with this air fryer steak.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you air fry lobster tails?

Yes! Prepare lobster tails the same way as this recipe. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray basket or pan with nonstick spray. Air fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until shells are red and flesh is opaque.

How do you clean lobster tails before frying?

Add lobster tails to a bowl of water. Toss around. Rinse lobster tails under running water. Lay out on paper towels and pat dry.

What does fried lobster taste like?

Fried lobster tastes like lobster meat with a crispy fried breading.

How do I know when they are done cooking?

Lobster is done cooking when its shell is red and flesh is opaque.

Can I fry other seafood this way?

Yes!

Lobster with breading

You May Also Like

If you make this fried lobster tails recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along!  For more ideas, see these Lunch and Dinner Recipes.

Fried lobster tails with lemon and garlic butter

Get the Recipe: Fried Lobster Tails

These fried lobster tails are gourmet and fancy, but super easy to make! They are crispy, golden, and so flavorful. These lobster tails are great for entertaining, holidays, and family dinners.
5 from 9 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 lobster tails
  • 1 cup oil, canola, corn, peanut or olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup flour, all purpose or gluten free
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, to garnish

Instructions 

  • First, butterfly the lobster tails. Using kitchen shears with the lobster tails facing away from you, cut through lobster shell in a straight line.
  • Carefully using hands to pull lobster meat up on top of the lobster shell. Lobster shells are sharp so please be careful!
  • Once lobster meat is nicely settled on top of lobster shells, make egg wash and flour mixture.
  • In a shallow bowl, add milk and egg. Whisk until combined. In another bowl, stir together flour and Old Bay seasoning.
  • Dip each tail first into the dry mixture. Coat completely on all sides.
  • Then, dip each tail into the egg wash mixture. Coat completely.
  • Dip each tail back into the dry mixture. Coat completely.
  • Once lobster is prepared, heat oil in a pot on the stovetop. Once oil has reached about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, use tongs or slotted spoon to carefully place lobster tails in oil.
  • Fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until shells turn red and lobster meat is opaque.
  • Use slotted spoon to remove lobster tails to a plate.
  • To make garlic butter, stir together melted butter and minced garlic.
  • Finally, serve lobster tails with garlic butter and lemon wedge.

Notes

  • See blog post above for step by step photos.
  • Make sure lobster tails are fully coated in the dry mixture, then wet mixture, and finally full coated in the dry mixture.
  • I used olive oil for the frying since that’s my favorite oil.  Corn oil, canola oil and peanut oil all work well too.
  • My lobster tails were not fully submerged in the oil.  I used my slotted spoon to “flip” them after a few minutes of cooking to ensure all sides were cooked and crispy.
  • Since I am gluten free, I used gluten free 1 to 1 flour.  All purpose flour works too.
  • Nutrition facts do not include garlic butter.
Calories: 394kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 19g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 124mg, Sodium: 297mg, Potassium: 212mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 164IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 2mg

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