Lobster rolls are an absolutely delicious summer treat! With recent low lobster prices you can easily make the most delicious classic lobster roll you will ever have with big chunks of lobster, a beautifully seasoned dressing and a soft bun! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
I learned how to make the best lobster rolls a few years ago while I was in Canada, in Nova Scotia where lobsters are cheap all year round. Amazing lobster rolls are so simple - the key is the dressing and toasting the buns. These two ensure that your lobster roll is utterly moreish.
Eating out lobster rolls is often a disappointing process. You always pay a lot. When I have eaten these out I can usually count the number of pieces of lobster on one hand. It's always lettuce, bun and four or five small pieces of lobster. I actually prefer making lobster rolls at home because of this. You know exactly what you'll get - I've been shocked by how stingy the lobster is when you order them out.
I bought these West Australian lobsters for $25 a piece and they were fantastic and weighed around 500g/1.1lbs. I got 4 generously filled 14cm/5.4inch lobster rolls out of it. You could even stretch it to 5 or 6 rolls but obviously they will be less full.
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How Do You Make A Lobster Roll From Scratch?
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1 - Store your lobsters in the fridge in a strainer above a bowl so that they don't stew in their own juices.
2 - If you have frozen cooked lobsters thaw them in the fridge overnight (over a strainer). You can cook live lobsters from scratch but the whole point of a lobster roll is how easy it is.
3 - The filling is simple - some people just add mayonnaise, lemon and pepper. I have tested out all sorts of combinations and the below is my absolute favourite. It's like a finely balanced steak tartare-you just know when the balance of flavours is just right and it hits all the flavour spots.
4 - In Nova Scotia they use mayonnaise in their lobster rolls although lobster is often served with drawn or melted butter. In America there are two types of lobster rolls. The Maine version uses mayonnaise while the Connecticut version uses drawn butter which is drawn (not browned) butter. I much prefer the version with mayonnaise. I adore butter but adding butter to already rich lobster meat is just too much richness for me and I like the seasoned mayonnaise for balance.
5 - Removing the meat from a lobster is easy especially compared to crab and it all comes out in one piece. I have instructions below. Easier still, you can buy the tails by themselves if you want too.
6 - Do not cut up the lobster too small. Some nice bite sized chunks are perfect. Also use mayonnaise to moisten but not to overwhelm. Balance the eggy, creamy mayonnaise with the citrus and capers. Lastly, just a visual thing - reserve those nice pink patterned chunks to sit on the top of the lobster.
7 - North American lobster roll buns are different from Australian buns. North American buns are attached so that they are white on the outside and you toast the outside of the bun while we have regular hot dog brioche buns for this so we butter and toast the inside. Both are good and just as tasty as each other. Having the butter on the inside makes it a touch less messy on the hands but it's not a big deal.
8 - Toast the buttered buns in a frypan for a few minutes rather than under a grill because they toast up very quickly. Brioche buns are available at most supermarkets nowadays. I prefer them to regular hot dog buns because they are softer so the ratio of bread to lobster is better. Regular hot dog buns tend to be denser so it feels like there is more bread.
9 - What to do with the leftover juices and the carcasses? Make lobster stock or bisque!
I made my last batch of these while we were away last week on the Central Coast. It was the four of us: me, Mr NQN, Teddy and Laura. While it may sound odd to have a couple and a third person we love being a non-sexual throuple. It works for Mr NQN because he goes windsurfing during the day and can stay out as long as he wants.
It works for me because Laura and I have fun all day as we like eating out and cooking at home and that way we can look after Teddy while Mr NQN is out. There's no jealousy and we just enjoy each other's company without it being weird.
Laura also took the place of Mr NQN while I was making these. "Ooh could you get an angle of this?" I'd ask her and she'd help me take pictures of pulling apart the lobster and then be my hand model. Because sometimes life is easier with a life wife!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you know any throuples? Could you travel in a throuple? And are you a melted butter or mayo lobster roll person?
The BEST Lobster Rolls!
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes 4 lobster rolls
- 2x 500g/1.1lb lobsters
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons diced white onion
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons baby capers
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- 2 cos lettuce leaves, shredded
- Salt and pepper to season
- 4 brioche hot dog buns
- 50g/1.7ozs. butter, softened (I used a smoked butter)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- Potato chips to serve (I used lime and black pepper)
Step 1 - Firstly remove the meat from the lobsters. I wore gloves because they can be spiny and painful. You can also wrap the lobsters in a teatowel or paper towels if you don't have gloves.
Twisting the tail from the torso of the lobster
Step 2 - Twist the tail from the torso and pull the two ends apart. Some of the flesh from the torso will still be attached to the tail part. Flip the tail down side facing up and with kitchen shears cut up the centre of the underside of the tail. Take out the whole tail meat and it should come out in one piece.
Pulling off the end of the tail
Step 3 - Chop the lobster up in chunks but make sure that they are not too small - bite sized chunks are ideal. Mix with the mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, lime juice, baby capers and Sriracha. Add salt and pepper and test for seasoning adding more juice if needed-you don't want the lobster meat overwhelmed with mayo, you want it supported by the flavours. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can refrigerate the filling a few hours ahead of time. When ready to serve toss through the shredded lettuce.
Buttering the inside of the buns
Step 4 - Open the buns and butter them generously and then fry them on a frying pan. They will be soft and will brown easily so watch them. Place the toasted buns on a tray and divide the filling among the four buns. I like to save the big chunks with pink stripes for the top. Top with the chives and serve with lemon wedges and potato chips.