Bring a taste of coastal New England to your table with these Maine Lobster Rolls! See how fresh, simple ingredients make these lobster salad sandwiches a crave-worthy summertime classic.
WHAT IS A LOBSTER ROLL?
Lobster Rolls are sandwiches that hail from New England, mounding chunks of fresh lobster meat onto buttered and griddled split-top hotdog buns. One bite takes me right to the sound of the ocean, warm, salty breezes, and the sand beneath my toes. It’s summer on a bun.
How the lobster itself is treated differentiates styles of New England Lobster Rolls. In the language of the food world, recipes fall into two general categories: Connecticut-style and Maine-style.
CONNECTICUT VS MAINE LOBSTER ROLLS
To make Maine Lobster Rolls, steamed best lobster near me meat is cooled and lightly-dressed with mayonnaise. The lobster salad is served chilled, piled into a griddled hotdog bun. (On some menus, the lobster might be unadorned, with a little mayo spread onto the bun instead.)
HOW TO MAKE A CLASSIC MAINE LOBSTER ROLL
New England lobster rolls, whether Connecticut or Maine-style, are all about the lobster. They’re made with very few ingredients and let the sweet, delicate lobster itself be the star of the show.
I make Maine lobster rolls with fresh lobsters that are about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds in weight. This will yield about 1 pound of lobster meat total for 4 lobster rolls.
HOW TO COOK LIVE LOBSTERS
For lobster rolls, I like to stick to two classic cooking techniques: boiling or steaming.
Boiling typically allows you to cook more lobsters at once, convenient if you’re entertaining a crowd. The meat is also easier to clean from the shells.
Steaming yields a lump of more tender and flavorful meat since the lobsters aren’t submerged in the boiling water. It’s also more difficult to overcook lobsters when steaming.
I COOKED THE LOBSTER MEAT! WHAT’S NEXT?
Once you’ve removed the tail and claw meat from the shells, cut it into large-ish chunks. If I’ve been skillful enough to remove the claws in one piece, I like to leave them as is, to lay across the top of each lobster roll. It makes an impressive presentation.
For Maine lobster rolls, gently toss the lobster meat with a good-quality mayonnaise. Again, the lobster is the main focus here, so you want just enough mayonnaise to bind the lobster salad, but not so much that it weighs it down.
Since some mayonnaise brands are more tart than others, I like to taste the lobster salad and add just a small squeeze of lemon juice if it needs a little brightening.
Beyond mayonnaise, every other addition to a Maine lobster roll is subject to debate.
Some classic recipes call for adding chopped celery to the lobster salad, for a bit of crunch. I prefer my lobster rolls without it.
Adding lettuce to the bun before mounding the lobster salad can also be a hot topic. I like a small leaf or two of Boston lettuce, but not too much. I’m not a fan of lobster rolls that skimp on the lobster and appear falsely plump from lettuce. The horror!
Add-ins that are delicious with lobster, but do not appear in a classic Maine lobster roll include capers, Dijon mustard, tarragon, scallions, avocado, bacon…and just about any other ingredient outside of those mentioned above.