What is a langostino? Ask The Fish Guy

September 19, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Chicago has always been a transportation hub, which means it's relatively easy for restaurateurs to fly in the best seafood from around the world.

Seafood lovers may have heard of langoustines, which resemble a very small lobster, or a giant crawfish-- but the langostino is a completely different species. And it's now available at one Chicago fish market, The Fish Guy.

They come from thousands of miles away, in a different hemisphere. They are Chilean langostinos, arriving IQF - that's individually quick frozen - so they're easy to separate. The only place you'll find them is at The Fish Guy market, in the Mayfair neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

"Langostines come from the North Sea, we also get those out of New Zealand, also cold water but they're just a different creature altogether; a little more elongated," said Bill Dugan, the owner of The Fish Guy Market. "Langostinos look like a small, stubby lobster."

They are quite a sight, with their purple racing stripes. Those go away, once the langostinos are cooked, which happens with frequency at The Fish Guy, since they also operate a tiny BYOB cafe called Wellfleet, right in the store.

To get to the actual tasty stuff, they first boil the langostinos for a minute or two in water; then they're removed and placed into an ice bath, to stop the cooking process. After they're cooled down, they're much easier to peel. From there, you can cook with them much like you would shrimp: at Wellfleet, they'll top off a pizza with langostinos.. Toss them with pasta and top them off with breadcrumbs.. Or just serve them very simply, with a wedge of lemon and parsley.

"We serve them at Wellfleet in the same manner we do our mussels: just sauteed with a little splash of wine, some garlic," Dugan said.

Dugan sells the Chilean langostinos for $15.95 a pound- but you can save a bit if you buy them in a five pound bag.

They're for sale the Standard Market in Westmont, as well as Bakersfield, across the street. Plus, they're on the menu at Benny's Chophouse, the Four Seasons and Spiaggia downtown.

The Fish Guy
4423 N. Elston Ave.

Langostinos cost: $15.95/lb. or 5 lb. bag for $13.95/lb.

    Places carrying langostinos:
  • The Standard Market in Westmont
  • also at Bakersfield across the street
  • Spiaggia
  • The Four Seasons
  • Benny's Chophouse

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