Langostinos are shellfish that can easily be substituted for shrimp or crayfish in just about any recipe. The word, "langostino," technically means "prawn." Because of this, there has been a lot of confusion over whether the langostino is actually a relative of the shrimp or the lobster.
Langostinos are small, crayfish-sized shellfish that look and taste like a cross between a shrimp and a lobster, though to me, at least, more like a tiny lobster. To add to the confusion is the fact that they are a substitute for shrimp, but rarely for lobster.
Langostinos, as they're usually called, is the Spanish name for these small shellfish. In France, where they're also used extensively, they're called langoustine, very similar, but a little harder for an American to pronounce. They are also known as Dublin Bay prawns and Danish lobsters. Is it any wonder people are confused?
Langostinos are definitely a member of the lobster family. Usually, these fascinating shellfish are about seven inches long and have light red bodies and darker tails. Their abdomens are more narrow than those found on shrimp and their legs are longer.
Langostinos are becoming increasingly available in worldwide markets. They make an interesting and fascinating substitute in many recipes that call for shrimp, crayfish, and yes, sometimes even lobster. An ordinary salad can be made exotic by the addition of langostinos.
I first learned about these interesting little creatures in Europe. I had never heard of them before. I hope you'll take the opportunity to make use of them in your culinary creations. I don't think you'll be sorry.