Langoustine Tartare with Mandarin and Bottarga

One of the best dinners we’ve had so far this year was at La Madia in Sicily. One of the dishes there was Battutino di gambero rosso, maionese di bottarga di tonno e olio al mandarino.

The dish at La Madia

This is what I wrote in my review: “Carpaccio of prawns, flattened into a perfect disc, served with a bottarga mayonnaise and mandarin olive oil. It was suggested to spread out the ‘mayo’, which we did, and it was a great combination with the prawns and didn’t overpower them. Great balance of flavors, although I may have liked a slightly ‘fresher’  taste.”

The type of prawns used in this dish is not available fresh in the Netherlands, but I love raw langoustines (scampi) that are locally caught. When I saw fresh langoustines at the market, I decided to create a dish that was inspired by the combination of flavors at La Madia. The result was an appetizer of langoustine tartare with mandarin zest infused olive oil, mandarin juice, bottarga, and mandarin. It was very nice as a small appetizer (amuse bouche). The flavors worked very well together, and I liked that it was ‘fresher’ than the dish at La Madia. The dried bottarga was not as smooth as the bottarga mayo at La Madia, but it was nice all the same.

Langoustines always look great on a plate, so I did a plating that was similar to a previous dish I created with langoustine tartare (with green apple). This dish is quite simple to make as long as you can find sushi grade langoustines (or sushi grade jumbo shrimp) and bottarga. Here’s what I did.


For 4 servings as amuse bouche

8 medium langoustines

3 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 mandarin

2 tsp bottarga

salt to taste


Zest the mandarin. Try to get only the outer layer, not the bitter white pith underneath.

Combine the olive oil and the mandarin zest in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to infuse for at least two hours or overnight.

Wash the langoustines under cold running water. Take the meat out of the langoustines. Remove the ‘vein’. Wash the meat  under the cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Chop into tartare. Reserve the four best looking heads with claws for garnish.

Filter the mandarin zest out of the oil, using a spoon to get out as much oil as possible.

In a bowl combine the langoustine tartare with the bottarga and the mandarin infused olive oil.

Add the juice of half of the mandarin. Season with salt and stir to mix. Taste and add some more salt and/or mandarin juice and/or bottarga if needed. Peel the other half of the other mandarin and break into individual segments (you will need 4). Remove as much of the white pith as you can.

Arrange a head with claws of a langoustine on each plate with a small heap of the tartare. Finish with a mandarin segment.

Wine pairing

Citrus goes well with riesling, and we enjoyed this with a nice riesling from Alto Adige. A good prosecco would also work.

12 thoughts on “Langoustine Tartare with Mandarin and Bottarga

  1. This looks and sounds fabulous. I will have to keep this one mind when the market gets some fresh jumbo shrimp. Fresh langoustine are not an option in this area. I would also imagine this would be great with lobster which we can buy live. 🙂


  2. Looks and sounds delicious! Thankfully I live on the Texas Gulf Coast and we get beautiful fresh jumbo shrimp anytime we want.


  3. Another wonderful dish, Stefan. Although I can get langoustines, none are sushi grade and I’d have to ask around to find shrimp that “make the grade”. It would be worth the effort in order to give this dish a try.


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