Chef Kevin Broome on Loch Torridon Langoustines
To some, the langoustine or Dublin bay prawn is the jewel in the crown of shellfish. Many top London restaurants pay high prices to allow this wonderful prawn a prime position on their menus. Nephrops norvegicus (the binomial name) are commercially fished around Scottish shores and some 40 per cent of the world’s stocks caught and sold from Scotland, with Spain being one of the main buyers.
Based in Shieldaig, the award winning Loch Torridon fishermen are among a handful of collectives in the world to be accredited as a Marine Stewardship Council sustainable fishery and they’re the only certified crustacean fishery in the UK today. Around the loch there’s a three-mile ban on large commercial trawling which allows the langoustine to be caught only in traditional creels. This allows the prawns to grow to a proper size and protects healthy stocks for years to come.
Typically we’ll serve Loch Torridon langoustines grilled simply with basil, lemon and chilli butter. We place the fresh, live langoustines in the freezer which sends them to sleep, allowing a humane way of cooking without all the movement you get in the pot or oven. Spread the flavoured butter over the cooled prawn then put them under a hot grill for eight to ten minutes, finishing in a hot oven for a couple of minutes further, then serve on fresh summer leaves.
● Kevin-John Broome is head chef at the Torridon, www.thetorridon.com