Langoustines Recipe with Cucumber, Apple and Fennel by Chef Colin McKee

Colin McKee

This langoustines recipe is a very nice light starter, perfect for spring or summer. The delicate langoustines are gently cooked in butter and served with cucumber marinated in mint, a fennel chutney, Granny Smith apple purée and baby salad leaves.

The whole dish eaten together is very light and refreshing and all the elements work beautifully with the langoustines. This one went down a treat with the guests at the restaurant here at Harvey’s Point.

Colin McKee

Serves 4


24 large langoustines
4 knobs of butter
Juice of 1 lemon

Confit Cucumber
1/2 cucumber peeled and cut into 12mmx12mm sized cubes
140g sugar
200ml water
8 sprigs of mint finely shredded

Apple Purée
2 Granny Smith apples peeled and diced (reserve the skins in lemon and water)
Juice of 1 lemon
120g sugar
30 ml water

Fennel Chutney

2 heads of fennel finely grated
120ml apple juice
120ml white wine vinegar
120g sugar
2 star anise
30ml Pernod

Fennel Dressing
100ml Reserved syrup from the confit cucumber
Juice of 1/2 lemon
5 fennel sprigs chopped

Baby leaves such as mizuna, rocket and sorrel
Fennel sprigs


1. Remove the heads from the langoustines (reserve the heads and shells to make shellfish stock). Gently break the shell around the tail and remove the tail meat without damaging it. Remove any vein from the tail.
2. Place cocktail sticks down the centre of the langoustines to stop them curling and to keep them straight during cooking.
3. Add the oil to a non stick frying pan and heat to a medium high heat.
4. Season the langoustines with a little salt and add to the frying pan.
5. Cook gently on one side and then turn over, cooking on each side for about 30 seconds.
6. Add the knobs of butter and lemon juice.
7. Using a spoon, baste the butter over the langoustines.
8. Once the langoustines are just cooked (important not to over cook), remove from the heat and place on a tray.
9. Gently remove the cocktail stick.
10. Keep warm to plate up.

Confit Cucumber
1. In a small saucepan bring the sugar and water to the boil.
2. Boil for 2-3 minutes to make a light syrup.
3. Add the shredded mint and leave to cool.
4. Once the syrup is cool, strain through a fine strainer.
5. Pour the syrup over the cubed cucumber.
6. Place the cucumber together with the syrup in a vac pac bag.
7. Place in vacuum pac machine and vacuum on full.
8. Repeat this vacuum process 3 times.
9. Leave to marinate in the fridge until needed.
10. Reserve the syrup to make the fennel dressing.

Apple Purée

1. In a saucepan, add the diced apples, lemon juice, sugar and water.
2. Place on the heat and bring to a simmer.
3. Reduce the heat and cook until the apple is very soft and tender and any liquid is fully reduced.
4. Place in a food blender together with the reserved apple skins and blend until smooth.
5. Pass through a fine strainer and pour into a squeezy bottle until plating up.

Fennel Chutney
1. In a saucepan, toast the mustard seeds in a little oil until they pop.
2. Add the grated fennel and star anise and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the Pernod and cook until it’s fully reduced.
4. Add the apple juice and white wine vinegar and reduce by half.
5. Add the sugar, reduce the heat and cook until the liquid is nearly gone and the mix is slightly sticky and a jam like consistency.
6. Leave to cool until plating up.

Fennel Dressing
1. In a small bowl combine the reserved syrup from the cucumber, the lemon juice and the chopped fennel sprigs.
2. Add a little seasoning.
3. Place in a squeezy bottle until plate up.

Baby leaves such as mizuna, rocket and sorrel
Fennel sprigs


1. Last minute when plating up, toss the baby leaves gently in a small amount of the fennel dressing

Plating up
1. On 4 round white plates, align 6 hot langoustines up the centre of each plate.
2. Place a quenelle of the fennel chutney to one side of the langoustines.
3. Place 5 cubes of the marinated cucumber around the langoustines. Pipe dots of the apple purée around and on top of the langoustines.
4. Gently toss your baby leaves in the fennel dressing and place a few leaves carefully around the plate, but don’t over crowd the plate.
5. Garnish with the fennel sprigs and drizzle a little of the fennel dressing over each dish and serve.


Chef Colin McKeeI am the senior sous chef at Harvey’s Point four star country hotel. I’m in charge of the 2 AA rosette lakeside restaurant.

I completed my professional cookery degree in the renowned catering college in Killybegs, Co Donegal in 2006 and I have never looked back.

Working at Harvey’s Point have given me a lot of great opportunities, to travel to several Michelin starred restaurants, to gain new work experiences, develop my skills as a chef.

I now enjoy developing menus for the lakeside restaurant and other food outlets at the hotel, using top quality, locally sourced Irish produce as the base  of my cooking philosophy.

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