Grilled New Shell Lobster with Thai Basil Gremolata

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Chef Karen Akunowicz takes summer grilling to the next level with this deceptively simple lobster recipe. She recommends using new shell lobsters — a type of Maine-caught crustacean found from mid-June through November — since they tend to be sweeter and more tender due to the natural marinating of the meat from the seawater (you can find more details here). The herbaceous gremolata on the side brings just the right amount of sophistication to the meal without overwhelming the lobster’s delicate flavor.


  • 2 live Maine new-shell lobster
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper


  1. Turn your grill to high heat and make sure the grates are nice and clean. Remove the claws and tail. Split the tails in half and set them on a sheet tray. Season them with olive oil and kosher salt, and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the basil, olive oil, ginger, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk well. Store in an airtight container if you don’t use it all.
  3. Place the claws on the grill in their shell, flipping occasionally for 10 minutes. Using your tongs, place the tails meat side down on the grill for 1 minute. Flip them over and place them shell side down on the grill for two to three minutes. Remove from the shell and smother the insides with the Thai basil gremolata.
  4. Have a lobster cracker ready for the claws (careful, they are hot) and dip in gremolata once you remove from the shell.

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