Grilled Langoustines And Garlic Chilli Butter – Carina Contini


  • Four to six large fresh langoustine per person
  • One clove of garlic, crushed or very finely chopped
  • One dried chilli crushed with seeds removed
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • Half a lemon, juice of
  • Pinch of salt


  • To make the garlic and chilli butter, melt the butter with the garlic, chilli and lemon. Season. Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley.
  • To prepare the langoustine, choose a chopping board and secure with a damp tea towel to stop it slipping
  • Place a langoustine belly down on the board and with a very sharp knife cut through the back of the prawn to make a butterfly shape. Remove the digestive cord and the head membrane. Rinse under cold water and place on a tray lined with kitchen towel. Continue until all the langoustine are cleaned.
  • Transfer the langoustine to a baking tray and brush generously with the melted butter. Grill until the meat has changed from translucent to white. Don’t over cook.
  • Serve with a lovely fresh leaf salad, some new potatoes and enjoy!
Credit: Carina Contini is owner of Contini George Street; Cannonball Restaurant & bar; and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant, all in Edinburgh.

Scottish shellfish is a real culinary thrill – and worth splashing your savings on!


Carina Contini

THE Scottish Car Show is on at Ingliston on July 14. As the youngest of eight children with four older brothers, cars were constant chat and I’ve many memories of bashed up cars – but thankfully no bashed up brothers. When one of my father’s Rovers arrived home on the end of a tow truck, my eldest brother’s excuse was he didn’t see the bus! Now 50 years on and he’s still getting stick for that one.

Your early years form who you are as an adult. For me, I’m a pleaser; I love making the people I love happy. That hug of reassurance when you did something good has made me try and work very hard in all I do to keep the people around me happy. It comes with pros and cons, as you can imagine.

One of the pleasing tasks I set myself when I was about five years old was to save up to buy my brother – yes, the one who was the expert at everything, even crashing cars – a Ferrari. Yes the expectation was set high even at that early age. I may have got to a windscreen wiper by the age of 18 and decided there were other things more fun than saving for my sibling. I’ll never afford a Ferrari but the Ferrari of our Scottish larder has to be our shellfish.

A meal of lobster, scallops or my favourite langoustine would give me far more thrills than any fast car. Growing up between two harbours, shellfish was part of our diet, particularly in summer. I think it was my mother’s way of bribing us. A dozen langoustine – anyone brought up along the coast of Scotland would have called them prawns – boiled and then deep fried in the chip shop was our weekly wages. Who needed money when you got fed like a queen? Deep fried prawns and proper scampi are still my favourite food.

A few weeks ago, dear Roy Brett of Ondine and Gary Welch of Welch Fishmongers, opened The Fishmarket down on Newhaven Pier. The original Victorian fish market has been given a new lease of life, and we’re all able to enjoy traditional fish and chips on the harbour. This really will be a treat worth saving up for.

Sorry Cesidio, the Ferrari fund has just crashed – crashed and fried and I’m loving it!



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