Portuguese Lobster Rice (Arroz de Lagosta)

Arroz de marisco is a Portuguese seafood dish of rice with seafood that is like a soupy version of risotto. Click here for the regular recipe. For a more luxurious version, you can also make it with lobster, and then it becomes arroz de lagosta. To make it even better, you could also add clams (vongole or cockles).

The delicate aroma of lobster makes this a very special dish. This is a follow-up post to yesterday’s recipe for lobster stock sous vide. That recipe doesn’t only yield the lobster stock, but also the lobster meat. You can also make the stock and thus arroz de lagosta without sous vide; the stock just won’t be as aromatic. Apart from the stock, the other important trick in this recipe is to avoid overcooking the lobster tail. You can do this by cooking the tail sous vide (15-30 minutes at 46C/115F), or by adding the lobster tail meat at the very end with the heat turned off, so that it is poached very gently in the soup.


For 2 servings as a course in a menu or 1 serving as a main course

1 recipe of lobster meat and lobster stock, from 1 lobster of about 600 grams (1.3 lbs)

100 grams (1/2 cup) white rice

1 onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 dried piripiri pepper, or 1/8 tsp of ground piripiri pepper


80 ml (1/3 cup) sieved tomatoes, or 1 ripe tomato, skinned, seeded, and cubed

fresh cilantro, leaves and stems separated (if you don’t like cilantro, substitute with flat leaf parsley)

2 Tbsp olive oil

Optional, for 4 servings of arroz de marisco with lobster and clams, or 2 servings as a main course

add 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) of vongole or cockles

add 100 grams (1/2 cup) of rice (so 200 grams or 1 cup in total)

add 120 ml (1/2 cup) of dry white wine


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. Add the minced onion and dried piripiri pepper. Stir over medium heat until the onion is soft.

Add a minced garlic clove, and stir for another minute. Do not let the garlic turn brown.

Add the sieved tomato or fresh tomato. Stir over medium heat until the tomato has fallen apart, or the sieved tomato is no longer watery.

(If using clams, put them in a pot with the white wine. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until the clams have opened. Reserve and filter the liquid released by the clams. Take most of the clams out of their shells, but leave some in the shell for garnish.)

Add 3/4 litres (3 cups) of lobster stock.

Add two cilantro stems and salt to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon).

(If using clams, then this is where to add the clam cooking liquid as well. In that case, do not add salt, as the clam cooking liquid is very salty.)

Bring to a boil, then add 100 grams (1/2 cup) of rice.

Simmer until the rice is cooked, about 13 minutes. (This rice usually takes 10 minutes. For some reason it takes longer when cooked in this broth. This may be because of the acidity of the tomatoes.)

Stir regularly.

When the rice is cooked to your liking, turn off the heat and add the chopped lobster tail meat (which is still raw). Allow the lobster meat to cook in the residual heat for 2 minutes.

After those 2 minutes, add the lobster meat from the claws and legs. Allow to heat through for 1 minute.

(If using clams, this is where to add the clam meat as well.)

Remove the cilantro stems and the piripiri pepper (if using a whole one).

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.

Serve in preheated bowls, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

Wine pairing

This is outstanding with an oaked Encruzado from Dão in Portugal. This can be regarded as the Chardonnay/White Burgundy from Portugal. Encruzado is more suited to the Portuguese climate, where it is too hot to make high quality Chardonnay.


These fresh cavatelli pasta with mussels and cherry tomatoes from Puglia in Italy is an appropriate flashback for today’s Portuguese seafood dish.


3 thoughts on “Portuguese Lobster Rice (Arroz de Lagosta)

  1. Hmm! Normally lobsters are beyond my pocketbook these days but I do have a birthday coming up in the next few months and our trade wars with China have seen the local lobster industry having to sell their produce to the local market at realistic prices ! Our ‘beasties’ present bigger . . . if I add clams methinks three of us are in for a treat !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. This is wonderful. I’ve never heard of it, but then, I’ve never been to Portugal. So many fabulous recipes from there! I love lobster and was just thinking about getting some for my birthday, but I’ve have to buy a huge amount. I could always use the extra in this dish!

    Liked by 1 person

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