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de-constructing a lobster roll

So I am catering a party in a couple of weeks, and the client has requested that I serve a decoconstructed lobster roll as one of the courses, as opposed to my regular one.i have ideas on how i should go about it, but wondering if anyone had feedback on what they would want to see, as a potential client.my usual roll i serve on a brioche slider bun, with brunoise of mango,cucumber and red pepper. chipotle mayo, and some chopped cilantro....i was thinking of making a chipotle mango coulis instead of the mayo...which incorporates 2 components. then a piece of lump lobster....maybe some sort of cucumber salad to serve it on...but i am a bit stumped for the bread....do i do some sort of homemade cracker?maybe a savoury crepe? as a potontial client, what would you want to see?

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  1. I have used hollowed out slices of cucumber as a base instead of bread for things like this - fill the scoop with the lobster and top it with a savory tuile, perhaps? Or if you must have a bread base, what about a cream puff shell?

    1. I don't have a specific idea for the "bread", but I would stay with something on the tender side, rather than the crispy side. There's just something about really chewy or crusty bread that I don't want with lobster.

      1. I'd use a brioche, as you do with your roll, and cut it into individual rectangles, maybe 2 inches by three inches by one each. Gentle toast in butter to capture the traditional buttered bread of a true lobster. Alternately, you could cut brioche into little mini-croutons and toast them in butter, then scatter them over the top.

        2 Replies
        1. re: katecm

          That's what I was going to suggest, I like the buttered crouton idea.

        2. What about reversing the lobster and bread--cut rounds of lobster tail and top w/ panzenella type salad w/ toasted brioche (or maybe a heartier bread), the chipotle mayo, etc. It would give you a higher lobster to bread ratio.

          Or, you could do a bibb lettuce wrap and add toasted brioche crumbs on top. I would like to see more lobster, apparently.

          1. How challah toast points or a french bread crostini?

            1. I wouldn't obsess too much. I'd probably make my best lobster salad and spoon it back into a hollowed out lobster carcass half (antenna, head, tail and all) that had been cut lengthwise. Warm brioche cut to the proper dimension would be on the side. A chilled stainless steel bowl with jumbo lump crab would also be on the side. Other condiment would include grilled red pepper, clarified butter, sea salt, lemon quarters, tabasco sauce, Dijon mustard and a pepper mill. A good rose, sparkling wine, white burgundy should be within easy reach.

              1. It's challenging for me to answer this as I consider the Maine lobster roll consisting of only a bun, lobster, and butter to be sacrosanct. I will, however, do my best.

                As a potential customer, I would want to see a warm homemade hamburger bun that has been buttered on each cut side and toasted, buttered side down, on a griddle along with an entire lobster's worth of warm lobster and clarified butter - that's it.

                To me, a lobster roll is one of those things where less is more.

                3 Replies
                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  I didn't want to go there, but I do agree (except that we call it a Connecticut lobster roll). THe more buttery the bun, the better,

                  1. re: katecm

                    Yeah, I always kinda thought the cold lobster salad inside the grilled bun was the "Maine" version and the buttery hot filling to be the Southern New England thing (I've had 'em in RI and CT). I suppose it matters little as each deserves a page in the "awesome" food lexicon. Then again, here in Jersey where I'm getting lobsters for less per pound than many cold cuts, I've even done the "lobster melt" and lobster salad sub sandwiches. Oh, and don't discount making a Nicoise salad with cold lobster, tossed in good olive oil.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      nicoise made with lobster is a thing of beauty i agree...and though my lobster rolls are far from traditional, they are defiantely outstanding....mango and chipotle are really a perfect marriage with lobster and buttery brioche!!!

                2. Ok, you said deconstructed, so . . . .

                  You could take thin, medallion-style slices of tail meat, a thin slice of trimmed brioche with a dab of mayo/aioli, a slice of celery,* a leaf of parsley, and tie it together with a "ribbon" of scallion green. It would be a little lobster roll bundle. Place them on the side for plating. The keys to this solution would be (a) keeping the bread in the center of the bundle and (b) the quality of the mayo you make and what you add to flavor it. Personally, I'd get a spice/heat element in there - ground dried chipotle, morita, or even ancho chile seems right.

                  * Obviously, your mango, cucumber, etc. could work too.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: MGZ

                    thanks for the replies! mgz, i think your answer is right on, even though a lobster roll is something that we shouldnt deconstruct, i am at the mercy of my client for this one! MGZ, your reply gave me some great ideas, i really like tying it like a bundle...i dont think i would go with the celery(not a fan) but maybe really thinly sliced cucumber instead...and i will still go with the mango chipotle coulis as a plating sauce...Im going to test on Friday, Ill keep you posted!

                    1. re: encoretraiteur

                      Over the years, my inquisitive mind has learned that deconstructing anything, be it a legal argument, a house, or a favorite dish, leads to an understanding of the subject beyond that which is otherwise accessible. Since we have regular access to "cheap" lobster (see, e.g., http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654879) and I have some weird inability to pass up a really good deal on food, lobster is the one indulgence ingredient I have had quite a few chances to play with. Lobster nachos are another favorite of mine* and I thought about a riff on that for your query. In fact, a round of brioche, cut in a small circle and quickly fried in butter (think Ritz cracker) and topped with separate layers of mayo, lobster medallion and a finely minced vegetable combo/salsa could also work - maybe plate it on a sauce and a larger circle of lettuce then stack with PVC in reverse order so the "cracker" is on top and the lettuce "base" permits it to be "cupped" when picking up.

                      * I think I just haven't found the perfect cheese for the treat. I'm open to suggestions, though I suppose i should post my own inquiry into the topic . . . .

                      1. re: MGZ

                        what about something smoky and sweet, like caccicovallo mixed perhaps with a bit of parm??i really am a fan of pairing smoky/sweet with lobster.. on another note, .i had toyed with the idea actually of doing my lobster roll in a tortilla and the deep frying just to get that crispy outer shell, even thought of wrapping in phyllo too.....i love playing with my food lol

                        1. re: encoretraiteur

                          I am of the savory camp and think lobster (and crab for that matter) are quite inherently sweet.* I do love some smoke with lobster, but I would say if you want to get that quality, grill the bug. However, a smoked pepper like a chipotle or a morito, ground and added to the mayo should accomplish the task - plus the capsaicin is a wonderful foil to the sweet, especially if you add more with the mango.

                          * But, keep in mind, I almost never eat sugar.

                      2. re: encoretraiteur

                        If you are going with mayo, may I suggest making a lobster oil and using that to make the mayo? Mmmmmmm.

                    2. Maybe I watch too much Top Chef but I thought you were looking for some kind of molecular thing like a solidified mayo-based salad topped with a buttery lobster bisque foam.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: GraydonCarter

                        That crossed my mind, too--some sodium alginate caviar balls of mayo, lobster in a glass jar, topped w/ buttered triangles.

                        1. I saw on TV tostones being made with a mold that gives them a cupped shape - roughly the size of something baked in a mini-muffin tin, but of course tostones are deep-fried plantains. Hot buttered lobster, or cold mayoed lobster, chopped, would be a good filling. You might also consider langostinos, since they look and taste like miniature lobster tails.

                          1. Martha's got it right. Simple and perfect.

                            Inside-Out Lobster Roll


                            1. at first, i was thinking something in a serving spoon/ individual ladle type of thing.

                              next thing that came to mind was a kebab... skewer lobster meat with pieces of mango, cucumber, red pepper, and brioche croutons. serve or drizzle with cilantro pesto and chipotle mayo...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Emme

                                Kebab is a great idea. I'd have a squeeze bottle of the mayo/coulis on the side.

                              2. here it is guys, my deconstructed lobster roll, on toasted buttered brioche, mango cucumber and red pepper slaw with chipotle mayo, and of course sliced lobster./... with julienne green onions, and for the final event, garnished with tobaki caviar!!!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: encoretraiteur

                                  "garnished with tobaki caviar"

                                  Good touch!