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What Are the Best Tips for Making Lobster Rolls?

By Kathy Levine
Updated May 17, 2024
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When making lobster rolls, the key is fresh ingredients and keeping the sandwich simple. This sandwich can be comprised of lobster meat, melted butter, seasoning, and some celery on a hotdog roll. Another variation calls for mayonnaise, scallions and herbs in place of the butter to create a lobster salad. Either style of sandwich is considered a lobster roll. Using large chunks of lobster meat, no less than 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) in size, and toasting the bun until golden brown are important elements of making this summer favorite.

The primary component of a lobster roll is the lobster meat. Being generous with the portion of meat on a roll is important. Lobster meat from the claws, knuckles and tail is usually used. A good rule of thumb is to use approximately 3.5 ounces (99 grams) of lobster meat per roll.

Cooking the lobster at home may prove to be more economical than purchasing pre-cooked meat. In addition, it allows the cook to season the pot of water, which many people believe creates tastier meat. Purchasing lobster meat, either fresh or frozen, is also an appropriate option. Look for lobster meat that smells sweet and is white, two signs of freshness.

A New England-style hotdog roll, which is split on top and has no crust on the sides, is favored by many for this particular sandwich. Traditional hotdog rolls can work just as well, but either way, a fresh bun is essential. Lightly buttering and grilling the hotdog roll will add flavor. Paprika and other spices may be added to taste, but be careful not to overpower the lobster meat with too many different flavors.

The type of lobster roll that calls for melted butter is typically served with warm lobster meat; a lobster salad is usually served cold. Some people prefer the warm butter to be poured over the lobster meat after the sandwich is put together, while others pour it over the meat before putting it on the hotdog bun. Lobster rolls allow for several variations based on personal preference.

Commonly associated with the state of Maine in the US, lobster rolls are also found in other US states where lobsters are often caught, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Beginning in the early 1900s, lobster rolls could be found at roadside eateries near the beach and along the shore. They’re often served in fine restaurants as well.

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