Lobster rolls are a New England delicacy, made with fresh and simple ingredients. A buttered and toasted bun provides the perfect texture contrast for the star of the show, tender and succulent pieces of lobster!
There are both warm and cold versions of the lobster roll. For Connecticut-style lobster rolls, the sandwich is warm and served with butter. Maine-style uses just a little bit of mayonnaise, and the lobster is cold. We prepared lobster rolls for our Maine state dinner, where we highlighted iconic dishes from the state of Maine. So our recipe is cold. But we did throw in just a little twist with the toppings!
What Makes a Great Lobster Rolls
The key to a delicious lobster roll is not surprising. It all starts with quality lobster! But purchasing and cooking live lobster isn't the only way to get great meat! Here are three options:
- Purchase the Lobster Live
For the very freshest lobster meat, purchase about 2 lobsters, totaling about 3 pounds. This should yield you about a pound of cooked meat. Here is a good tutorial on how to cook your lobster. Steaming Lobster
- Purchase Pre-Cooked Lobster Meat from your Deli
This is the route I took! I stopped into Central Market and picked up a pound of freshly cooked lobster. The lobster was already shelled, so it is so easy!
- Thaw Frozen Lobster
If you cannot find fresh lobster that is pre-cooked you can purchase it frozen. Thaw it in the refrigerator for best results,
How to Grill a Lobster Roll Bun
You may find lobster rolls served on hamburger buns across New England, but for an authentic Maine Lobster Roll there is only one option: a split-top hot dog bun! Butter both the left and right side of the bun, then grill on each side. This provides great texture and holds up to a plentiful portion of lobster packed inside.
Dressing the Lobster
There are a variety of ways to dress the lobster, but we prefer to keep it simple and allow the lobster to shine. If you would rather, you could toss the lobster with the mayonnaise before putting it onto the roll. You can even spread a little mayonnaise onto the bun. But I served the mayonnaise in a ramekin alongside each sandwich, so that everyone could add the amount that they prefer.
I also broke the rules a little bit and provided a ramekin of drawn butter for each person as well. Because here is a secret - I prefer my lobster rolls with butter instead of mayo, even if they are cold!
Some people place a few leaves of lettuce onto the bun before filling it with lobster. Others mix celery in with the mayonnaise. In the name of simplicity, we just sprinkled a little salt and pepper over the top and served the lobster rolls with a lemon wedge.
What Side Dishes Go Well With Lobster Rolls?
We enjoy our lobster rolls with fresh corn on the cob! They are also delicious with French fries, coleslaw, or even a side salad.
Finish your meal off with another delicious food from Maine, the Whoopie Pie!
Lobster Rolls Recipe
- 1 lb cooked lobster meat
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- 4 split-top hot dog buns
- salt and pepper
- 1 lemon, quartered
- If there is any liquid in your lobster meat, drain it off.
- Gently toss lobster with mayonnaise. Alternately, lightly spread mayonnaise on the inside of the bun, after it has been toasted.
- Spread butter on both the left and right sides of each hot dog bun.
- Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Toast the buns for 30-45 seconds on each side, until golden brown.
- Fill each bun with lobster. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.Serve immediately, with a lemon wedge.