I mentioned last week that it's my summer's mission to find the perfect lobster roll. I've spent a lot of time in Maine this summer for work, play and just to escape the heat in our nation's capitol. Best kept secret: Maine has the hands-down best summer weather anywhere in the country. Don't tell anyone though.
The "best" lobster roll is really a personal preference, but having consumed at least two dozen this summer and many more dozen in my lifetime, I'm convinced simple is best. This version that we made at home to celebrate S's birthday is the best so far.
Maine Lobster Rolls
- two whole, live Maine lobsters 1lb - 1 1/8 lb size - today's price in Yarmouth, Maine is $4.39/lb and going down. Lobsters are most affordable in the late summer/fall
a note on lobsters: the meat of smaller lobsters is sweeter and more tender, hard shells aren't worth the extra cost at all - you pay by weight, do you really want to pay extra for a lobster that tastes the same, but has a heavier shell?
- two soft, white hot dog buns "premium" style or four mini finger roll style buns (shown)
- Hellman's light mayonnaise (do not use a "dressing" style mayo like miracle whip)
- 2 scallions
- Romaine or other dark lettuce
- fresh ground pepper
- pinch of kosher salt
1. Cook the lobster in a steamer for 20 minutes, making sure the water is at a rapid boil before adding the lobster. Alternatively, many lobster pounds will steam the lobster for you while you wait
2. Remove claws and tail from lobster, drain and allow to cool a bit before picking the meat
3. Pick the meat from the lobster, including the body, being careful to avoid shell and cartilage (we do not eat roe or tomalley). tip: use a rolling pin to squeeze the meat out of the legs. Each lobster should yield 3 1/2 - 4 oz of meat.
4. Chop lobster meat into large chunks and toss in a bowl with scallions
5. Add just enough mayo to bind the lobster together. The key is to use as little mayo as possible so as to not overpower the flavor of the lobster
6. Season lightly with just a touch of fresh ground pepper and a tiny pinch of kosher salt
7. Split the buns and put one or two pieces of romaine or other dark lettuce in each
8. Divide lobster meat evenly between the rolls
Enjoy a little bit of heaven!