Caldereta de langosta

Let’s mention first of all the caldereta de langosta (lobster stew), as it is the most popular, sought after and delicious typical dish of Menorca on the island. The name comes from the way in which the lobster is prepared, which is an earthenware pot, a container that has been used since ancient times to prepare this dish, until now it is still managed.


Basically, it is a female lobster soup, this dish has tomato, green pepper, onion, parsley and toasted bread. It should be eaten about 5 hours after it is cooked, as it should not be eaten freshly cooked. Most restaurants serve this wonderful Menorcan dish.


It is a typical dish of Fornells, because it was here that they soon realised that the dish would become an important source of income. Before it became the food of kings, it was the prize that fishermen awarded themselves on the boat that supplied their village with the succulent crustacean.


The immense demand has tripled the number of restaurants in Fornells specialising in these dishes, but it can be served and tasted in good restaurants all over the island. Another factor is that this demand has exceeded the recommended level of lobster catch and you may find the dish marked on the menu. In which case you will have to opt for the unbiased fish, shellfish and lobster stews, which in the right hands reach equally illustrious levels. 


As with many fishermen’s dishes – such as suquet on the Costa Brava – it does not appear in old recipe books. The name of the dish refers to the vessel in which it is cooked, although on the island it is usually made in an earthenware casserole, called tia (as in Occitania, tian). In Menorca, caldereta is a kind of fish soup made completely raw, just like the fish stew on the Costa Brava.


We explain the Fornells recipe below, as it is practised in restaurants and as it is made by the local fishermen. It should be noted, however, that the original recipe, the boat recipe, was made by putting all the ingredients in the cauldron uncooked, without preparing any sofrito. If the amount of water is correctly calculated, it is also an excellent dish.

Imagen Caldereta de langosta
Imagen Caldereta de langosta
Imagen Caldereta de langosta
Imagen langosta de Menorca

Characteristics of caldereta de langosta

  • Origin of the Caldereta de langosta

    It originated with the fishermen of Fornells. They used to prepare this dish on their boats using the ingredients that were closest to hand.

  • Elaboration

    Simple in its preparation, the dish hides no more secrets than its main luxury ingredient, a female lobster, and the accompaniment of local products such as tomato, green pepper, garlic, mineral water and minced meat.

  • Characteristics

    The original version of the recipe uses intensely flavoured female rock lobsters.

Recipe for caldereta de langosta (lobster stew)

Preparation time: 1 hour

Difficulty: medium

Ingredients for 4 people

1 lobster of about 2 kg or 4 lobsters of about 1/2 kg
extra virgin olive oil
2 onions
1 green pepper (optional)
4 tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1.5 litres of water
toasted or dry bread, sliced

Preparation of the recipe

Cut the live lobsters, separate the heads from the bodies and carefully store them in a container so that not a drop of the juice inside is lost. The black intestine is removed with an antenna and the claws are punctured with a sharp knife. Remove the legs, slice the body and cut the heads in half. Save the drained water and the small pieces of lobster; put the juice from the heads, the roe from the female and the spleens in a container, which will be used to prepare the mince. Salt the lobsters and, optionally, fry them a little in an earthenware dish over a low heat, taking care not to fry them too much and turning them over. Once fried, they are placed in another earthenware dish. If you do not want to fry them, you can add them directly to the broth, uncooked.

Fry the ingredients for the ‘sofrito’ in the remaining oil: onions, two cloves of garlic and tomatoes chopped as finely as possible. At first cook over a high heat and then slowly, until everything is fried but not too mushy.

Before the frying is finished, add the salt, then the lobsters and the broth they have left and cover everything with water.
Now add two sprigs of parsley, which will be removed later. Let it simmer for half an hour or more, first over a high heat and then, when it comes to the boil, over a low heat. If necessary, more water can be added, but be very careful not to let it exceed the limit of covering the lobster.
In the last fifteen minutes, add a mince made from the juice of the lobster’s head, roe and spleen, as well as garlic and parsley, and reduce it with a little water. This mince is left to cook for five minutes.

The stew is presented in the same casserole dish and served in soup bowls, on which very thin slices of dry or toasted bread are placed. The juice is eaten first, like a soup, followed by the lobster slices.

Source of the recipe: Fàbrega J., Puigvert C. (1996), La cocina de Menorca