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The real way to make a lobster roll

Today, I received my Chow recipe of the day, and it was for New England Lobster Rolls. The three necessary ingredients were: Maine lobster, mayonnaise, celery. Hmmmm. I beg to differ. I supposed I used to agree with that list, but not since my husband and I happened upon Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine. These are, hands down, the best lobster rolls we've ever had. No mayonnaise here! Red's takes a New England hot dog roll, and grills it on both sides. Then they add the meat from more than one whole Maine lobster. The crowning glory is melted butter, poured all over it, and in abundance. If you're going to Maine this summer, do yourself, and the local fishermen, a favor. Pick up some shedders (these are lobsters that have just shed their too-tight shells in exchange for new, comfy, but soft ones) at around $3.00 a pound, cook them, and prepare them this way. Nirvana.

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  1. I think most people think a NE lobster roll is made with mayo. In CT, it is usually made with butter instead. In MA and ME, you can get both types, though the mayo version is more common. I like both types!!

    5 Replies
    1. re: macca

      I am a CT Native and prefer the butter version. In fact I despise mayo in anything.
      That said, what has not been mentioned is that the CT butter version is a HOT sandwich. The mayo version is a COLD sandwich

        1. re: bagelman01

          Ditto....about the butter version. I'm another CT native who agrees about the 'better' butter version. The only time I can see using mayo is if one is making a lobster, crab or tuna salad.

          1. re: mucho gordo

            served over a bed of lettuce, not in a toasted roll........................................

      1. I agree with Macca about the NE lobster roll. Except I only like the lobster with mayo because in my little peabrain I think butter has more calories than mayo although in actuality they're almost equal with butter just ahead by a smidgeon.

        1. As much as I love eating Lobster with drawn butter and lemon, a lobster roll needs mayo for me! Just enough to bind all the lobster pieces together, but not too much to hide the taste of lobster!

          1. Sorry, but there's no "real" way to make a Lobster Roll. There are several supposedly "authentic" methods depending on what part of the country you're from. In fact, I just finished a lovely little book called "Lobster Shacks"; all about the best places to enjoy lobster in all its guises up & down the New England coastline. They broach this very subject in minute detail.

            In addition, there's that old bugaboo - PERSONAL PREFERENCE. Whichever type of Lobster Roll you enjoy the best, is certainly "real" enough.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bacardi1

              Actually, there is one required ingredient - a lightly toasted, buttered NE hot dog bun. Cold with mayo (even a touch of celery is fine) or warm with butter are both fine for me. Just don't ruin either by serving in something other than a NE style HD bun / roll.

              1. re: Clams047

                While I normally serve our Lobster Rolls on the closest thing I can get to a NE-style HD bun (which means Pepperidge Farm top-split HD rolls), when I have a bonanza of lobster to use, I'll commit blasphemy & buy something they call "hoagie sandwich rolls" here. It's not top-split, but is just slightly larger & holds together better than a HD roll. Perfect for "monster" lobster rolls. And toasted, of course. :)

                1. re: Clams047

                  Those rolls are just not sold in San Diego, but lobster is. So we make do with the rolls we have available, always served toasted.

                  Each style of sandwich described in the OP is fine, but usually we eat fresh cooked lobsters with drawn butter and put the leftover meat in the refrigerator and use it to make lobster salad the next day.

                  1. re: Clams047

                    While I prefer the top sliced roll grilled at most places, if you are on Cape Cod and can get one in a freshly baked Portuguese roll, it is a wonderful alternative. If I'm there, that's what i will opt for...but noplace else

                  2. re: Bacardi1

                    Bacardi1- That book Lobster Shacks is pretty good, as is the lobster roll info. I read my way through the CT and RI chapters yesterday. I got it on kindle, but then went and ordered the book, and the authors earlier book on Clam Shacks. I sooo plan on going to the two places mentioned in Lobster Shacks in Guilford, CT some time this fall.

                    1. re: JMF

                      Isn't that a neat little book? I had a blast reading it, because even though I'm not from New England, growing up we spent every summer either up in Maine, or Cape Cod, etc., etc. Always somewhere on the coast. I'll have to look for "Clam Shacks" as well.

                  3. The only thing I would add is a dash of celery seed. Classic MA,ME,NH,RI New England. There are variations, but classic this is it!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: breakfastfan

                      I can't say that I've ever had a lobster roll with celery seed...