When it comes to lobster rolls, you’ve got your drawn-butter people and your mayonnaise people. Here, it’s mayonnaise for the lobster salad, and butter before griddling the roll, which must be of the long, split-top variety. As for the meat, a judicious business owner might use only knuckles for a lobster roll, saving the choicer parts for more expensive offerings—and there’s a qualitative dimension to that choice as well. A lobster roll made only from knuckles might actually be better. But unless you’re having a big lobster dinner one night, and generating enough knuckles to make lobster rolls the next day, feel free, by all means, to use claws and tails.
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
- 6 lobsters (1½ to 2 pounds each)
- Roughly 1 cup Mayonnaise or store-bought mayonnaise
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves only, coarsely chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 split-top white hot dog rolls
- Celery seeds, for garnish
Step By Step
- Fill a large 4- to 5-gallon pot with 2 to 3 inches of water and add the tablespoon of salt. Position a steaming rack in the pot and bring to a boil. Working in batches of 2 or 3 lobsters at a time, steam them in the pot, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, reaching in carefully about halfway through with the tongs to shift the lobsters around to help them cook evenly. Remove the cooked lobsters from the pot and continue with the remaining lobsters.
- When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shell: Wrap the claws in a dish towel and whack them with the blunt end of your knife; crack open the tail, also wrapped in a dish towel, with your hands by folding it in half, then use your knife or kitchen shears, if preferred, to cut through the length of the underside and extract the meat; tap the knuckles with your knife or, gently, a meat mallet, if preferred, and extract as much of the meat as you can. Cut what meat needs to be cut into bite-size chunks and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
- Fold in the mayonnaise, eyeballing so that there’s enough to coat the lobster but not enough to make it the main event, then add the celery, tarragon, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Chill the mixture until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
- Heat a griddle, griddle pan, or cast-iron skillet to medium-high while you spread the inside of each hot dog roll with ½ tablespoon of the butter; melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter on the griddle or in the pan and place the rolls on the hot surface, buttered side down, to toast to golden brown over medium heat, working in batches if necessary.
- Remove the toasted buns from the pan, fill each generously with the lobster mixture, garnish with the celery seeds.
Relatively simple, right? Drop a note in the comments and let us know what you think!