You should do both when it comes to the age-old question of whether lobster rolls are better-prepared Connecticut-style with melted butter or Maine-style with lemony mayonnaise! I’m confident in saying that you’ll adore them.
In a world where everyone has an opinion and best-of lists are commonplace, deciding what makes for the best lobster rolls is as contentious as debating whether thin crust or Chicago-style pizza is superior or naming the best movie of all time.
Even though lobster rolls are quite easy to cook, the topic of discussion always seems to come down to two ingredients: butter and mayonnaise. To each his own, but I adore them. Lobster is reconstituted by warming it in butter before being mixed with a basic mayonnaise dressing and piled into a toasted, split-top bun.
Ingredients in a Lobster Roll
These lobster rolls have a short list of basic ingredients that allow the lobster meat to take center stage.
- Lobster meat
- Lemon juice and zest
- Minced celery
- Minced chives
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Soft, split top New England-style buns, or hot dog buns.
Which Lobster is Ideal for Lobster Rolls?
Lobster for lobster rolls can be obtained in two ways: It’s a privilege to have freshly caught lobster so close to home if you call the Eastern Seaboard home.
If you can afford it, it’s best to have the live crustaceans brought to your house. You may also get them at certain upscale and Asian grocery stores. Frozen lobster is more realistic for the rest of us.
All you need is one pound of lobster flesh for this dish. Depending on the time of year, a 1-pound lobster will provide you with about 3–3 3/4 ounces of fresh lobster meat.
To save the hassle of preparing raw ingredients, I purchased prepared lobster flesh from a frozen food store. This included the meat from the knuckle, claw, and tail. Frozen tails may be steamed or baked until tender, then finely chopped.
Lobster Rolls Dressing
The marinade for these lobster rolls is ridiculously simple but packs a tonne of flavor.
You don’t want to drown everything with mayonnaise. One of the worst things that can happen to a lobster roll is for the chef to drown the tender flesh in a sea of gloopy mayonnaise. Lighten things up by adding just a quarter cup of mayonnaise for every pound of lobster flesh.
Including the crispiness of celery is a nice touch. I like the crunch and variety in texture that celery adds, although some lobster roll purists would rather go without it. Cut it into little pieces, so it doesn’t dominate the dish.
Citrus juice and zest should be used. Adding lemon juice and zest to the mayo creates a zesty taste that complements seafood without making the dressing too thin, which might cause the bread to get soggy. You can get the most juice out of a whole lemon if you zest it first while it’s still solid and then juice it.
Push the envelope, as it were. Chives, with their mildly spicy onion flavor, are a great addition to any dish, and they look and taste great when used as a garnish. You may spice things up by substituting tarragon, red onion, or green onion for the usual white or yellow onion.
Lobster Rolls Get All Buttered Up
When the bread is still toasted, and the lobster flesh is warm and buttery from being blended with the mayonnaise, that’s the greatest bite of this lobster roll.
Lobster flesh may be gently rewarmed with butter. Lobster flesh should be warmed in a pan with melted butter for two to three minutes before mixing with the mayonnaise sauce. It will turn rough and overdone if you cook it for a short time.
Spoon It Up
It would be best if you did not throw away the melted butter. The lobster releases delightful fluids into the butter as it cooks, but adding all of those liquids to the mayonnaise would result in a sloppy dressing. Transfer the lobster flesh to the dressing using a slotted spoon, but don’t worry if some buttery deliciousness finds its way there, too.
Superlative Crusty Bread for Lobster Rolls
The bun this sandwich is served on may make or break the meal because of the soft meat and subtle seasonings. It’s in the name of crying out loud!
It should be a fluffy, buttery bun. The traditional way to eat lobster salad is on a split-top New England-style hot dog bun, but these may be hard to come by. Buns are also available in the brioche style, with a soft, moist crumb or buns made from Hawaiian bread. While standard side-split hot dog buns will work, you should steer clear of dry or even stale ones. It would be best if you had something mushy and soft.
Cut the bun in half, spread it with butter, and toast it. The warm, rich flavor of lobster rolls is heightened by exposing the crumby texture of the bread by slicing away a little portion of the edges and then toasting the bun in a skillet with melted butter.
With Lobster Rolls, What Should I Have on the Side?
With a bag of chips, lobster rolls would cut it. I want my snacks to be salty and crunchy. Kettle chips with salt and vinegar are my favorite, and they pair well with tender bread and lobster.\
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