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Maine Lobster Rolls

I like to indulge my family occasionally with a fancy weekend brunch at home. So, a couple of weeks back, I made these delicious Maine Lobster Rolls. I picked out 4 large lobsters to obtain about 4 cups of lobster meat, following the recipe. The mixture of fresh herbs with the lobster meat, especially tarragon, really brought out the flavor of the lobster. The rolls are garnished with celery and pickled red onions. Hah, my mouth is starting to water now whilst I am describing the taste of these lobster rolls. :-) I am thinking of making it again now. Anyway, the buns for the lobster rolls needs to be buttered and brown in a frying pan first. (The pictures shown without butter and browning.)

Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” cookbook.

Maine Lobster Rolls
(Printable Recipe)


1-½ lbs (about 4 cups) Cooked Lobster
3 to 4 Tbsp Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Minced Red Onion
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Peeled Celery
2 tsp Finely Chopped Tarragon
2 tsp Finely Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
2 tsp Finely Chopped Chives
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ Lime
6 New England-Style (top-slit, if available) Hot Dog Buns
4 Tbsp (2 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Celery Stalk
1 Head Butter Lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, dried, and torn into pieces

Pickled Red Onions
2 Large Red Onions (about 1 ¼ lb each)
½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar


Make the pickled red onions: Cut off the top and bottom of each onion and cut lengthwise in half. Remove and discard the outer layer. Cut a V-shaped wedge from the bottom of each half to remove the roots and the very centerpieces of onion. Put the onions cut side down on a cutting board and slice lengthwise into 1/8 inch-thick slices, following the natural lines on the outside of the onion; cutting with the lines, or grain, rather than across them will help the onions soften more quickly in the pickling liquid. Pack the onions into a 1-quart canning jar; reserve and slices that don’t fit.

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pout the hot vinegar mixture over the onions. Once the onions begin to wilt, you can add any remaining onion slices to the jar, gently pushing them down into the liquid to submerge them. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 1 month.

Put the lobster meat in a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, and stir gently to coat. Add the onion, celery, tarragon, parsley, chives, salt, and pepper to taste and stir gently to mix. Squeeze the lime over the salad and fold in the juice. Cover and refrigerate.

If using top-slit buns, brush butter on both outer sides of each bun. If using unsliced buns, slit them open from the top, trim each long side to create a flat surface and brush with melted butter. If using regular hot dog buns, open the buns and brush with melted butter. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Just before serving, put the rolls in the pan and brown the buttered sides.

To serve, peel the strings from the celery with a vegetable peeler. Using a Japanese mandoline or other vegetable slicer, or a sharp knife, slice the celery lengthwise into thin ribbons. Line each bun with a couple of small lettuce. Mound the lobster salad in the buns and garnish with the celery and pickled red onions.

Serves 6 to 8


  1. nice to see you pickling the red onions..I like to leave mine to marinate in balsamic gives the same effect of sweet & sour.

  2. Spoilt family! ;P

  3. Wow, what an interesting idea!! I guess everything can be good in a roll though, I just never would have tried lobster. Thanks for sharing! I like lobster salad with this recipe

  4. Outstanding job on one of the tastiest sandwiches on the planet. My wife and I have been known to drive to Maine JUST to get a lobster roll (fortuantely, Maine is not that far from Maryland --- LOL).

  5. Lobster in a roll with vegetables and other ingredients is sumptuous, you know the pictures look very lovely with their colors combined and all. Good job!

  6. Omg. I would die for a Maine lobster roll right now. That is so beautiful. I just woke up after a rough night out..And yes, that would make my day!

  7. Love this - looks super amazing. I'd love to try out this recipe as I love Thomas Keller's cookbook. Awesome

  8. My father had a side business of lobstering while I was growing up - we ate alot of lobster (it was free as my parents would say). I still love my lobster rolls the way my mom made them (simply with mayo on a white New England style hot dog roll), but I would definitely try this recipe - I do love lobster with tarragon too :)

  9. Absolutely Fabulous! I want to come to your house on Sundays!! ~LeslieMichele

  10. This is very close to my recipe. I add chopped fresh fennel for a little added taste. I will try the New England Style bun the next time I make them. I use that type of bun for my perch rolls. Great pictures by the way.


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