lobster rolls

Alex and I have kind of a thing for Maine, after going to Portland a few years ago and becoming instantly smitten: the weathered barns, the hand-painted signs, wild blueberries and, well, you know the lobster aplenty.

claws and tails
lobster meat, chunked

And so, with our anniversary approaching and the looming deadline of babybabybaby, we decided to head back to Kennebunkport for a long weekend later this month. Except, somewhere along the way I got really, really pregnant (funny how those things happen!), I mean like super-pregs, I mean staggering bursts of productivity (the doorways have been detailed) followed by four-hour recovery periods (this whole upright thing is exhausting) and suddenly the thought of a six-hour drive each way a mere three weeks before a due date I’m not buying seemed… ill-planned. Thus, we’ve decided to postpone our trip until a hopefully less waddlesome time.

pearl oyster bar's lobster salad

lobster salad

But I promise, this wasn’t supposed to be a bummer of a story. To celebrate Old Man Alex’s 35th birthday, it seemed only fitting that if we couldn’t bring ourselves to Maine, we’d simply lure it back here. I turned to Rebecca Charles’ — she of the Pearl Oyster Bar in the Village — Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie for inspiration and oh, this is a great one for people who share our Maine crush. In it, Charles recounts her family’s summer trips to New England, the roots of her obsession with their summery fare (and, of course, Tartar Slaw). And she bares the secret to her lobster rolls, the ones that put them on the New York map: heaps the freshest shellfish and barely any clutter from extra ingredients, all on a buttery, toasted bun.

blueberry slab piewheels of cornpotato saladsummer pea and roasted red pepper pasta salad

Along with a blueberry slab pie, pasta salad, potato salad, wheels of buttered bi-color corn and enough delicious beer to make this temporarily sober girl weep with envy, we couldn’t put out these miniature lobster rolls fast enough at Alex’s birthday party over the weekend. And can I heartily recommend you have your own Maine party this summer? It was so much more fun than gathering in a bar or poorly lit restaurant, and wasn’t a half-bad consolation prize for missing out on the real deal this summer.

lobster roll

Lobster Rolls
Adapted from Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie

The secret to this lobster salad roll is the lack of clutter — just a smidgen of of lemon, celery, chives and mayo to heaps of fresh chunked lobster meat. This is also what makes it such a hit: once you’ve gone through all of that effort and/or expense to get good lobsters, why hide their taste?

Yield: At the Pearl Oyster Bar, they use this recipe to make two lobster rolls, which are served on toasted hot dog buns. We used it to make 64 miniature rolls, from a double batch of Light Brioche Burger Buns (each bun can be made from just about an ounce of dough; buns will be a quarter the size of the regular recipe).

2 pounds cooked lobster meat*, chopped roughly into 1/2 and 3/4-inch pieces
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Charles insists on Hellman’s; I didn’t argue)
Squeeze or two of lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 top-loading hot dog buns or 64 miniature burger buns (described above) or small dinner rolls
Unsalted butter
Snipped fresh chives for garnish (though we mixed ours right into the salad, for convenience)

In a large bowl, combine the lobster meat, celery, mayonnaise, lemon and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Do ahead: Cover the mixture and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It will last for up to two days.

How they prepare the buns at the restaurant: In a small sauté pan over low to medium heat, melt two teaspoons of butter. Place the hot dog buns on their sides in the butter. Flip the buns a couple of times so that both sides soak up an equal amount of butter and brown evenly. Remove the buns from the pan and place them on a large plate. Fill the toasted buns with lobster salad.

How we prepared our miniature rolls: On large roasting pans, we split each of our rolls and lightly toasted them, open side up, before quickly slathering both sides with butter and filling each with a generous tablespoon of lobster salad.

Sprinkle your rolls with chives and serve with a salad, slaw or shoestring fries.

* We bought our lobster meat, cooked that morning and shelled, from The Lobster Place, for those of you who were going to ask. However, not all markets are as trustworthy when it comes to lobster meat that they label “fresh” — it is often overcooked and not as recently-rendered as they promise. If you’re up for it, cooking and cracking your own will ensure freshness while reducing your grocery tab. About 20 percent of the weight of a lobster is its meat, so you would need, for example, five one-pound lobsters to get one pound of meat. Don’t panic — as I did — when you see how tiny the mass of two pounds of lobster meat might look. Once diced, our salad nearly filled a six-cup bowl.

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176 comments on lobster rolls

  1. Dawn

    When I saw your Flickr pictures, I had to rush right over here to see what you were up to. Between the Lobstah Rolls and the Summer Pea and Roasted Red Pepper Salad, I am in total heaven. Don’t even get me started on the blueberry slab pie! Now take a rest, Preggers!! (I say that in love and admiration)

  2. Sadie

    had my first lobster roll of the summer this weekend – an amazing touch was the garlic and herb butter they used on the roll before grilling it. I always love the little something extra (I would have used just butter). YUM!

    1. deb

      Cindy — No worries.

      More blueberry slab pie tips: I used 6 cups of blueberries, only 1/2 cup of sugar (but seriously, felt 1/3 cup would have also worked if you like a little less sweetness), doubled the lemon juice (juice from a whole lemon, not half) because I think blueberries are great with a lot of lemon and although I only used 1/4 cup cornstarch, I think a little more would have done. I underestimated how runny blueberries get. And you know, with a center slice of a slab pie (no walls holding it in) it’s a bit runny for the first several hours. (It does eventually settle, and seize up a little.) Definitely go with the lemon juice glaze on top.

      Oh, and we so ate leftover slab pie for breakfast after bagging up 100 bottles of beer.

  3. I had a Provencale BBQ last month for the same reason – couldn’t do the real thing – but the rose, fresh aioli (inspired by David L’s post), and homemade salade nicoise with lightly grilled sushi grade ahi tuna, sort of made me feel like I was there. Now, I am inspired to bring the party to Maine. Those lobster rolls look divine, and I am sure the homemade rolls made all the difference.

  4. Lauren

    The lobster rolls look delicious! My husband and I are planning a trip to Maine in October (first time visiting), and we’ll be staying a few nights in the Portland area. Do you have any recommendations for where to eat? I am excited to get a giant lobster roll while I’m there and taste the fresh Maine seafood! I do have the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport on my list (I saw you got a roll from there on your flickr pics- which were fun to browse, by the way). Thanks for all the great blogging you do- I always look forward to visiting your site- and congrats to you and your husband on the baby!

  5. Marie M.

    Happy Birthday Alex! Lobster rolls for your birthday, Maine in New York, I can feel the cooling breezes. Deb, are you sure, really, really sure it’s not twins? triplets?

  6. leftfoot

    every so often I have my parents remind me of “the place” to get lobsters overnight. (The live in rural Maine.) I love the traditional hot dog type roll, even though they aren’t really hot dog buns, but something similar. There’s not much, in my mind, that can top a fresh lobster. Even the work breaking into them and getting all of the meat out is completely worth it. Of course, this is coming from a girl that ever since she was 7 only wants lobster for her birthday.

  7. Oh dear, how I miss the lobster and crab fests my mom often hosts. I’ve always done lobster rolls with just lobster and melted butter with a little lemon. I’ll try this recipe the next time I get my hands on some lobster…though I’m afraid that could be some time from now. Leftover Blueberry slab pie for breakfast sounds like heaven. And I’m impressed with how you’ve held up having your last months of pregnancy with the heat of summer.

  8. MJ

    Mm, my birthday is the end of this month and I might try these – last year I (ambitiously and stupidly) tried the French Laundry’s lobster broth and mac and cheese in late August, and you know what? Food doesn’t taste as good after you’ve given yourself near heatstroke simmering it for HOURS when the temps are in the 90s. Note to self – duh. But I do not see hours of simmering here.

  9. I don’t like to put much of anything on my seafood either… I want to actually taste it! My in-laws absolutely love lobster rolls so I need to share this with them :) Looks so yummy!!

  10. Kimberly

    Oh Deb, those pictures are just making me drool! However, trying to find lobster over here is impossible and so I will just have to close my eyes and make believe for now. Happy belated birthday to Alex, and hope you two have a lovely anniversary.

  11. Happy to see a shout out to Portland! Although, if you really enjoy Maine, my recommendation is to head up to the coast– Rockland, Camden, Belfast, even Blue Hill. You meet some incredible people and also visit the eclectic little towns of Maine. Although I may be a little bit biased, because although I live in Portland, I’m from the Midcoast area. I’m telling you, most beautiful coastline you can imagine in Downeast & Midcoast Maine.

    Also, Lauren: try anything along Commercial Street in Portland. There are some really great seafood restaurants. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, try Vignola’s. It’s delicious.

  12. Anne

    Just wanted to chime in that I went to Maine from Philly for a last getaway pre my first baby (who ended up to be 10+ pounds, so let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly slim). It was a great trip and a good time for us to cement us before the storm. If you’ve already cancelled, no big deal, but if not, I’d recommend thinking twice. Also, an important point – it is cool there and seems like it will not be here. Don’t underestimate the importance of cool during the last months.

    1. deb

      Gary — I am sure it would work. In the book and in other recipes I’ve looked at, they only mention cooked shrimp as a swap (either partial or full) in the salad. But again, no reason crab meat couldn’t work. [And how timely; we’re checking out a crab boil for dinner tonight!]

  13. When I was hugely pregnant we planned a long weekend in San Diego (which is only a 3 hour drive) and I just decided I wasn’t up to it and we booked a hotel room by the beach nearby (ie 30 minute drive) and had an in town babymoon.

    Of course, now I’m craving lobster rolls, and I am not in Maine and lobster is neither plentiful nor cheap here.

  14. These look delicious, Deb! I recently posted a recipe for lobster rolls as well… it sure is the right time of year for these fresh, yet decadent, New England sandwiches. One of my missions is to find a reputable fish monger for pre-cooked lobster in Boston so I don’t have to go to the trouble of boiling the crustaceans next time!

  15. Pamela

    After spending a decade in New England, I desperately missed lobster rolls. I saw “lobster rolls” listed on the menu in Fish King in Glendale, CA and enthusiastically ordered two. Turns out that Californian lobster rolls are, in fact, egg rolls with bits of lobster in them. Also tasty, but very disappointing. Thanks for the ability to bring a little bit of NE to CA!

  16. Coline

    Alleluia Deb.

    You are such a good sport – sharing & caring that we read your delish tips . . .’tho you might “take a time out,” any day now !

    Coline, in Manitoba, Canada

  17. Selkie

    Living in mid-coast Maine makes it easy: I recommend you drive north 30 minutes to Bath, head down to Spinney’s looking out over the mouth of the Kennebec River, especially if there is a Full Moon rising. Popham Beach is a great and beautiful walk, Inn at Bath has great soft beds and fireplaces, and then the next day you can head down to Five Islands Lobster: the best roll and the best onion rings while enjoying the perfect Maine view… We love Portland too, but heading out aways is a good experience too.
    We steamed 12 lobsters last night: 2 per person, soft shells. Yum

  18. Yep, pure and unadulterated – YUM! I love shrimp salad on a roll made with our Gulf fresh shrimp down here. We do have lobster in the stores, but oh if only we could get it fresh from the Gulf.

  19. Oh BLESS YOU for posting this. I was sitting here at my desk, dreaming of a summer vacation in new england with the salt air and plentiful seafood. I almost gasped when I saw these pictures. I live right near the Lobster Place–glad to hear they’re a reliable source and can provide pre-cooked meat. Not sure I could handle the screams in my apartment. Will have to try this this week! And Happy birthday to Alex.

  20. Oh YES! I became absolutely “smitten” with Maine as well – my man and I took a 23-day road-trip across the US and Canada, and Maine was probably my favorite sight (yes, the whole state). We had Amazing Lobster Rolls at a waterside spot called Five Islands – I wholly recommend it.

    Sounds like you had a great party. Happy Birthday Alex!

  21. I’m sorry you missed your vacation but happy to see that you made New England happen at your party!

    Friday out of nowhere I told my Alex, “I really want to go to Maine for a weekend getaway, mostly because I’ve never eaten lobster.” This is yet another sign. I’m supposed to go to Maine for my vacation this summer! What better way to taste my first lobster, right?

  22. i am taking a trip home in less than two weeks…half the week in boston, the other half in my home town in southern maine. i have already started fantasizing about all the lobster i will eat while there. thanks for such great little tease so close to my trip! i’m even more excited than i was.
    oh, and lauren, go to Fore Street Restaurant or the Front Room in portland. both are amazing. make a reservation for Fore Street (you will need one to get a table!!) but Front Room doesn’t believe in them. have fun!!!

  23. What a fabulous little shin-dig. We are *hopefully* moving again (second time in six months) in the next week or two, and because I’m crazy, I’m hoping to be settled in enough to host a Labor Day barbeque.

    And you may think that corn on the cob is exciting enough now–just wait a year or so. Kids eating corn on the cob is perhaps the most hilarious thing you could ever witness. (Hello, Mom moment.) I caught my son on video last week sucking the juice out with each bite, and as he swallowed he would go “Ahhhh!” as if he were taking big, refreshing gulps of water. Priceless.

  24. Linda Y

    oh babybabybaby…yumyumyum…we LOVE lobster, rebecca charles…we love rebecca’s restaurant- super yum!, kennebunkport, ogunquit’s “the lobster pound,” & all the antiquing…this post is picture perfect in every way! happy b-day alex!

  25. Oh I miss fresh lobster SO much. Last time I got to have some was on our honeymoon in Cape Cod. I’d give anything for those delicious looking rolls right now!!

  26. Oh congrats…we just celebrated our 29th Anniversary…yikes…and I wish I could say that I was only 35….no more discussion on that point. Wonderful spread that you had! Yummy all the way and the photos are great! Slab blueberry pie? Did I miss the recipe?

  27. Georgia

    Wow – how I loooove lobster! Maybe me and hubby will do a road trip soon to Maine…For those of us (me) who are deathly afraid to cook lobster and would be horrified if after spending so much $$ that I end up screwing it up and tossing it out the window I’ve found some places in the city to get a lobster fix for lunch and dinner. Certe nyc has a pretty good lobster roll and u get some nice sides too….we went to mermaid inn in the village for a nice lobster roll coincidentally the night I got engaged! and do not go to bar30 in the roc center for their mini ones for you will definetly be dissapointed between the proportion of the price to the actual lobster! All in all I’m at my desk and debating if I want to treck it downtown to the lobsterplace and then back to midtown to xpress bus it back to queens….ooo i’m sooo torn…

  28. Jennifer

    Ahhh, you had me at lobster! I want to become your newest BFF and thus get invited to all events that include food. Need a friend in Vegas??? Will babysit for food.

  29. amy

    I’ve made the slab pie twice with a combination of frozen cherries (sweet was all I could find), fresh blueberries, and fresh raspberries. The ratio was maybe 3:1:1. Delish.

  30. Nan

    I bought myself Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie about a year ago and have been working my way through it…it’s a good one! We made her lobster rolls last sumer – thanks for the reminder – it’s time we do it again before we’re back in the rain. 3 weeks left? Anyway who is preggers during the month of August deserves her own tiara and a foot massage!

  31. Here is one important suggestion when buying live lobster — get them very near the full moon, maybe one or two days before. An old Maritime saying, and believe me, it is good advice. Apparently the lobster’s insides expand, something to do with the moon and tide. I don’t know if it is really true or just an old wives’ tale, but here in outport Newfoundland it’s an unspoken rule when getting a lobster!

  32. Jenna Meyer

    It was a VERY smart idea to skip the trip–first of all those lobster sandwiches look better then any I have ever seen, and 2nd of all with only 3 weeks to go it is best to stay within a cab ride of the hospital.
    I live in San Francisco–yet my daughter’s birth certificate lists Santa Barbara County as her place of birth–Why? you ask? because I left my zip code during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy which according to my Dr.(whom I forgot to tell I was going out of town of town, so this is after I had already gone into labor) is a BIG no-no.
    Having a baby 5 hours from home 4 weeks early is not the greatest way to do it–believe me I had two others right here in my home town.

  33. You poor thing! Being “really, really pregnant” in the dead of Summer is no fun! In my 3rd trimester, I was so huge that I couldn’t fit sideways in the checkout line at the market! I couldn’t fit into a restaurant booth either. They’d have to haul a chair over for me and put it at the end of the table, out in the aisle. Totally humiliating! But, it’s all worth it in the end.

    Your lobster rolls look divine! How lucky that you can find fresh lobster already cleaned and shelled! I’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way, but it will definitely be worth it as well!

  34. NicM

    That’s too bad about your trip, but it’s probably better to stay close to home with the big day so close. And you still got lobster rolls! Those aren’t easy to come by up here in the Rockies.

  35. Liz C.

    I know not everyone has a Trader Joe’s nearby, and while I don’t totally love that place, they do have frozen Langostino tails for about $9 a package. They taste close enough to lobster for me!

  36. YOU DESERVE A MEDAL. Seriously. Putting all of that delicious food together while being so pregnant?! Nobel-level stuff.

    And trying to squeeze in every possible adventure before the baby comes is totally overrated. You were right to postpone. You will soon relish the fact that you could plan a whole party by yourself undisturbed! Well done.

  37. Marlena

    Celery? CELERY?! Sacrilege! Everyone knows the very best lobster rolls are just lobster meat and butter in a hot dog roll. Nothin’ finah. Ayuh.

  38. I love that this salad looks like it really lets the flavor of the lobster shine! How exciting, next time you’re on vacay in Maine you’ll have a baby (or toddler!) in tow!

  39. Marisa

    Perfect timing for this posting, as my husband and two little ones rented a house in York for a week and are heading there from Dallas at the end of the month. We fell in love with Maine last summer when we spent a long weekend there while living in NYC for the year. Our rented house comes complete with a lobster pot! (I had to google that to figure out what it was.) I am planning to cook lobster at least once a day, and was just getting ready to google a recipe for lobster rolls. Can’t wait to give this a try and compare to the local offerings. Thanks, and good luck with the nesting!

  40. Stephanie

    The best lobster roll I have ever had is at “The Bears Den” in Dover Foxcroft, ME! Every year when I go home to visit thats one place I have to go!!

  41. Maureen

    Oh man! You made me so homesick for Portland! I live in Seattle now, but I remember always wandering down to Commercial Street after work to eat lobster rolls. These look fantastic!

  42. I also have a thing for Maine. Between the seafood, blueberries, coast…what’s not to love? These are so beautiful and the ideal summery treat. Mmmm….

  43. Gabe

    This looks great and a quite simple idea using elegant elements. My fiance and I plan to do classy build your own sliders for our wedding reception. And since we will be doing it DIY this is a great addition to our dinner menu!

  44. Kelly

    You made the right choice to bring Maine to you! I am also super pregnant (35 weeks) and we attempted a trip to Maine around 28 weeks. Even then I was exhausted, couldn’t sleep at all in the B&B, and wanted to be home! It made us cancel our Jersey shore week because it just seemed too hard to be away from home when so pregnant. We did some “bring the Jersey shore” to us dinners too (and I have more corn being brought up this week!)
    I’m going to check out your other recipes here, as well. I especially want to try a nice classic shell pasta salad.

  45. Amy

    I live in Maine and am playing tour guide this month as we get the parade of out-of-town guests. We are having a lobster feast tomorrow night and I can’t wait. One of our guests has eaten two lobster rolls at our favorite seaside seafood joint in 2 days. I was planning on making a regular blueberry pie tomorrow, but maybe I’ll try the slab pie!

  46. Charlotte

    Oh – you just took me back to holidays on the maine coast and my fav – windjammer cruises complete with a lobster bake (the very best way imho to eat lobster). Thanks for jogging the memories and making my mouth water with your gorgeous pics of your maine spread. Seriously am wondering how you are cooking so much in your third trimester – my hubby had to live on salad (in January!). Don’t blame you for not wanting to make such a drive at this time….enjoy the countdown to baby day!

  47. Heaven on a bun. I definitely need a vacation to Maine.

    Sorry to hear that baby belly is giving you a hard time. It’s all worth it in the end. Soon you’ll be holding YOUR baby and wondering how it all happened so fast. Hang in there.

  48. Ohh, this looks like pure heaven. I am cursing the fact that I live in a desert and so lobster is not an option….well really good lobster.

    Hope the last three weeks (possibly four) go by very, very quickly!

  49. Oh wow…you are making me crave for something I have never even had! :) This sounds delicious! I have heard of the glorious reputation of Maine lobsters but have never been…thanks for this recipe :)

  50. Glad you were able to enjoy the lobster despite the travel restrictions. Hope you’ll be able to take the baby up to Maine next year. When you do – consider going a little bit further and visiting us in New Brunswick – we’ve got all the good things of Maine – great seafood, beaches (warmer beaches, actually!), friendly people – but are a little less crowded.

  51. Mark

    Living in Maine has it’s benefits…….freshly cooked lobster meat is around $26 a pound and right now soft shell lobsters are $3.99 a pound, and most lobster pounds that sell lobster will also cook them for you for free.

    My favorite lobster roll comes from Bayley’s Lobster Pound in Pine Point (Scarborough), Maine. They originally used a very soft and fresh hot dog roll, but have since graduated to what we call an Italian Sandwich roll which is also soft. You get it loaded up with a ton of lobster meat and I usually have a touch of mayonaise on it. Perfection at $9.95!

  52. Suzy

    If you are visiting Portland for the for the first time, do go to Two Lights Park. Not only is it beautiful, you can get fun food there. I HIGHLY recommend the Oatmeal Pie. Yes, really!

    Then…find a place that serves REAL lobster stew. Done right, you basically have a shucked, chopped up lobster in a bowlful of hot milk, cream, and butter. You get to eat a lobster and then you get the lobster-infused cream soup. Ask about ingredients: if they put anything but lobster, milk, cream, butter, s&p in, don’t bother. No onions, no garlic, no nothing. Not hard to find recipes online, btw. If you want to serve lobster as the main (Maine?) course for a nice dinner, without having the mess of shucking the bugs at table, this would be the way to go.

  53. Your lobster pics are so appealing they instantly make me want to take a bite… (I wish I could get lobster like this here in southern Germany…)

    Your recipe sounds really fantastic!

  54. Bisbee

    Yum! Dh and I have made lobster rolls using a very similar recipe – very, very simple. Only difference is that we used frozen lobster tails – we defrost them, then I remove the meat from the shell (I’ve gotten quite good at it using a good pair of chicken shears!). We then brush with olive oil and grill the tails. When done, let cool, then chop and prepare the lobster salad. Heaven!!!

  55. Lea Ann

    I live in Denver and have a friend who is from Maine. Last fall she had a small dinner party and served Lobster Rolls. LOVED Them. She flew the lobster meat in from Maine and from a supplier that she trusts and fed all of us “inlanders” our first Lobster Rolls. Fun to see your post.
    Lea Ann

  56. Nancy from PA

    You are so blessed! A baby AND lobster rolls!My husband and I were touring New England in our motorcoach two years ago and had to cut it short. The part that got cut was the part where we ate lobster rolls on our way down the Maine coastline. Happily, we will finish it this October and, hopefully, the lobsters will be aplenty. Note to self: pack a lobster pot!

  57. bee

    @ Lauren: No trip to Portland is complete without trying Duckfat french fries or their beignets. I live in Boston now and routinely drive home, always stopping at Duckfat, which is on Middle Street. Also, try the Standard Bakery. They are located on Commercial, near the ferry terminal. Their Asiago cheese twists are amazing. If traveling with vegetarians, you can’t do much better than The Pepper Club, located across the street from Duckfat. And for lazy afternoons, visit Beal’s Ice Cream, located in the Old Port. Have fun!

  58. Oh, I hate that we live so far from yummy lobster. Around here, a live lobster costs $15/lb, generally. That would make these rolls $75 before we ever got started! I will just have to drool on my keyboard in jealousy!

  59. Wow–I am envious on so many levels, lol. The beautiful and delish food, the wonderful thirty-fifth bday celebration ( I’ll be fourty in two years :( sadly) and of course the wonderful friends and an excuse to party-hope the birthday celebration was delightful–the food certainly looks amazing and hope you had a wonderful time. thanx for sharing some great ideas for a super lobster fest without leaving home. ps–your photos are very appealing, keep up the amazing work.

  60. Kim

    They look great! I was in Bar Harbor not too long ago and had something very similar to this, delish! Last Jan, I drove with my hubby 7 hours to a baby shower. It was my 34th week, I thought no big deal when I planned it. Oh my, when it came, it was awful. I ended up having that 8.5 lb baby during my 36th week, so I totaly understand. You are smart to stay in the city!

  61. Si

    These look delicious. Lobster is not easy to find here in Utah, so shrimp sandwiches are usually as close as I get. Hooray for letting the lobster (and not mayo or other fillers) be the star of the dish! Love your site.

  62. This recipe brought back memories of a week in Maine I spent two years ago. The highlight of our day was having Steamed Lobster delivered to our room from a local pizza shop. I have a picture of a McDonald’s that was serving lobster rolls. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

  63. pita

    We are heading up to Maine on part of our vacation at the end of the month. The Hubby is from Skowhegan ME and also lived in Bath for a bit as a kid. Would you believe the man HATES seafood? I don’t know what in the world is wrong with the man. I can’t wait to get to ME so I can have a lobster roll. Even Mc D’s has lobster rolls on their menu. Certainly not the best lobster rolls in the world, but something quirky on the menu. Those of you heading to Maine this summer, don’t forget to have a whoopie pie too. If you don’t know what a whoopie pie is, think oreo cakester, but one that actually tastes good and not like plastic and cardboard. Ken’s in Skowhegan makes some really good ones and so does Al’s pizza. Al’s has a few different flavors of whoopie pie besides the usual chocolate cake with vanilla filling.

  64. Susan

    I have relatives that have lived in Maine for years, begging us to come out to stay and enjoy it’s beauty. I’ve never been there. Yet. I’m afraid if I go in summer I will get enamored of the place and the wild blueberries enough to want to live there, forgetting that I don’t love sea food, I hate snow and winters there are brutal. And now YOU, selling it, too! Dang! The Maine party is the best idea for me..but it will only be wild blueberry muffins and pie!

  65. Anne

    Wow, that birthday spread looks ab-so-lutely delicious! And I found it really funny that I must have almost the same anniversary as you (we’re Aug. 25) and I’m due on the same day (Sep. 22). We are also celebrating in a somewhat low-key manner. A short getaway trip used to sound like a great idea but reality is setting in (kind like, hey crazy lady, by the end of August you are technically considered full-term and should probably not venture too far from home)

  66. Janet

    I made lobster salad just last night! At the farmers’ market I got baby (very baby) fennel (like, small scallion size) and finely diced 2 of them and added to the salad. Yum. The fennel added to the sweetness of the lobster. Great combo!

  67. Emily

    Oh dear.
    I often LOVE what you make on this site (a grapefruit cake? heck yeah!) but must speak up —

    A Maine lobster roll should be made with melted butter, never ever mayo.

    -from a loyal New Englander!

  68. Barbara

    You’ve finally gone and done it. You’ve made me drool.

    Going up to Maine and getting lobsters, the lobster rolls and scallop stew. Some of my best food memories. And it’s all so simple! Gawd I wish I were there instead of here in Florida!

  69. Your pictures make me so hungry. I’ve never been to Maine (yet) but my neighbors go every year and always come back talking about all the lobster they’ve eaten. This year I heard all about the lobster rolls. It’s excruciating to listen to, because it sounds so good. I think I will print out your recipe, leave it out in an obvious place and see if any lobster rolls appear :-)

  70. Kate

    Um…….don’t be too too too jealous but…I live right here in Maine. I just got lobster at the dock for 2.99 lb. Now….I am worried for the lobster men and women so gave them a hefty tip but I gotta tell ya… doesn’t get much better!

    I then stopped at the farmstand beside my house and got fresh blueberries, corn, tomatoes, and peas.

    Heaven. I live in Heaven.

  71. Whenever you get back to Portland, you need to eat at Fore Street if you didn’t go on your last trip. It is DIVINE, like your lobster rolls. Bonus tip: there’s a great hotel in Portland called The Portland Harbor Hotel that provides babysitters for hungry parents of babies who are in desperate need of a cocktail and a blissful evening out, which is exactly who I was a few years back. Best money I ever spent on that sitter (the bar at Fore Street is also amazing).

  72. Aw, this reallllly reminiscent of summers passed to me…

    My family is from the East coast of Canada and although I grew up in Ontario, I have great memories of visiting my grandparents in New Brunswick, where there was an annual lobster fest in their town! One year I helped prepare the lobster rolls to sell, and got nearly drunk off the crustaceans!

    Yum! My mouth is watering!

  73. Luke

    If you’re ever in Boston, might I recommend Neptune Oyster for lobster rolls. Now, they serve it both hot and cold. The hot is big chunks of lobster drenched in warm melted butter. It’s artery clogging but so worth it. These are the best I’ve had… and I know my lobster rolls.

  74. Simone

    Celery? My mother is from Maine and we leave out the celery to make more room for lobster.
    We always stopped for Lobster rolls and fried clams on our way to my grandmother’s house in Biddeford, Maine from Philadelphia. My mother couldn’t wait any longer. We’d get to my grandmother’s house happy and full.

  75. Ohh I have been seriously craving lobster rolls recently…maybe I should stop dreaming of Maine and make them for myself…

    BTW–I made your long-ago recipe for sour cream chocolate cake with peanut butter icing for my boyfriend’s birthday last night. That is a delicious cake! I left off the ganache but I think next time (for me) I will leave off the peanut butter and JUST do ganache. YUM

  76. Rhonda

    Oh wow, these look great, my mouth watered. But it’s hard to get a good lobster in Texas and stay solvent. I may have to go see my sister in MA and make the rolls for her to fill. Soon. BTW the rolls have been playing a starring role nearly every weekend for the last 2 months….stuffed with slow roasted pork and beef & onions, steak sandwiches. My son wants me to make some for his canoe trip in 2 weeks. Just wait until your child tells you how he/she wants you make something and the ‘because’ reasoning behind it….and you do it after you quit laughing.

  77. I love reading all of this from my cozy little apartment on Portland (Maine)’s east end. Its such a great little city and there are so many good places to visit in Maine in summer, or any time. So much good food — In Portland: Caiola’s, Maple’s Gelateria, The Pepper Club, Flatbread Company, 555 or Fore Street if you are splurging, Rosemont Market for a picnic up on Munjoy Hill, Bonobo…. I could go on and on — there is lots of art and music and when the weather is good salty air, seagulls, nice breezes :)

  78. My sister’s first baby is due the day after tomorrow. It will be her first child and my first niece/nephew. August pregnancies look tough, (from the way outside looking in)! I look forward to hearing about your new baby in a few weeks !
    This looks like a wonderful recipe. Thank you for the story and the gorgeous photos!

  79. Dottie

    Thank you Thank you!
    My birthday is August 1. In my area that is opening day for lobster season. I think of it as King Neptune’s birthday gift to me!
    This year I was in Savannah-no lobster could be found.
    I will make my own lobster rolls tomorrow-and- I am going to sing”Happy Birthday to Me”, all over again.
    Kisses to you and the baby.

  80. I’m sorry about being waddlesome. I don’t know which is worse–being waddlesome or being sore from nursing. That probably isn’t very comforting….Unlike these lobster rolls, which look as if they could cure ANYTHING.

  81. What an amazing feast! Your lobster rolls look SO good! I think we’re going to go to Maine for my upcoming bday and I’m already super excited about blueberry pancakes and lobsta!!

  82. ok, so, this is torture. we are moving out of nyc on monday and this look so so so good that i am trying to figure out how we can squeeze in a trip to maine in the remaining days. forget packing.

  83. I’m so envious of your perfect lobster meat that I could just -die-! I clearly have some practice ahead of me as right now my lobster like to spite me even in death by hanging on to the fleshy bits in their claws. Any tips for a new lobster cooker? How do you remove yours so smoothly? This looks delicious Deb.

  84. WE are going to have some leftover lobster meat from a couple from a couple of claws this weekend. how perfect. i think this will make a nice lunch!!

    thank you!

  85. Stacey

    Looks delicious, except for the mayonnaise!! I am super-averse to mayo — but I like the idea of non-dry…i usually just swap with mustard but doesn’t work here — thoughts for the non-mayo peeps out here?

  86. This looks great – I love the idea one reader had of using crab instead of lobster. I’d like to try it both ways. This would be great for a summer afternoon get together.

  87. I also did a 6 hour drive around 4 weeks left to delivery. BIG MISTAKE – not only was I tired, but the ride home to NYC from Mass. bumped me around like no get out and well lets just say I had to make an unplanned visit to the doctor. Better off putting your feet up – you will need the rest once babybabybaby comes calling – believe me! Love the photos!

  88. Susan

    I live in Houston and absolutely never get lobster. Yes I see the poor creatures barely hanging onto life in their tank at the grocers, but cant bear the thought of plunging into boiling water. I have heard you can stick an icepick into a stretegic point behind their head but I can already hear their screams when I botch it.

    Maybe I will use fresh shrimp from the Gulf Coast – but that is NOT lobster. I too was in Portland in my previous lifetime when married (30 years ago) and it was bliss just meandering from Portland up the coast to Bangor. Also, those rolls appear to be brioche. Are they?

  89. Krista

    Not to make anyone jealous but I grew up in Kennebunkport! Maine is by far my favorite place ever, just about everyone I talk to gets a steamy eyed look whenever I talk about home- I can’t wait to make this recipe to share with my friends who haven’t had the chance to experience Maine!

  90. Katy

    Don’t worry about missing any adventures because of an impending baby….our “baby” is 19 years and brought us TO Maine this summer. He thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail this spring/summer from Springer Mountain GA to Mount Katahdin Maine. We were fortunate enough to be able to join him for the last few miles up (and up and up) Mount Katahdin. What an adventure…we took a couple days to sightsee around the Maine coast and thoroughly enjoyed lots of lobster and blueberry pies…

  91. Michelle

    As a lobster roll purist and Maine resident lobster rolls should not have celery!!!! (ok I think it’s gross and most places here do not include it in lobster salad).

    Also Georgia, do not be afraid of messing up lobster. It’s really one of the easiest things to cook. Steam for about15- 20 mins and your done! It’s so simple and amazing and the best is eating it at home so you an rip into it and never worry about making a mess. Many people discard the bodies and there is A LOT of quality delicious meaty bits in there!

    Every eat lobster!!! The lobstermen depend need the support!

  92. tinarina

    Stacey–Gourmet had a lobster roll made with lemon vinaigrette rather than mayo on the cover recently and it looked fantastic. I’m sure the recipe is on epicurious.

  93. Jessica

    You should try to make a stop at Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank, CT for a Hot Lobster Roll. They are delicious!! Also, the drive isn’t near as long as Maine. Congrats on the upcoming arrival!

  94. These look way better than the ones I’ve seen on the ubiquitous hot dog buns. Or is that just in the South?

    (BTW, I have officially linked to you. When I see this many slobber-worthy recipes just on the main page, it’s a good sign!)

  95. I was just in Old Saybrooke, Ct. and had a Lobster Roll at Johnny Ads, they were so proud of their roll they let me have it for 16 bucks. Eck!!! Now I can make my own for soooo much less.

  96. I love lobster rolls. LOVE them. Hate them when they have too much “stuff” in them. This was perfect. An arm and a leg, but perfect. Many thanks. And good luck if I don’t comment again before the baby comes!

  97. jenniegirl

    Just got back from Martha’s Vineyard from our honeymoon! Had my first of these…hopefully not my last! In Minnesota lobster is a little hard to come by locally…

  98. NSH

    Made these last night, seasonality be damned! The lobster salad works very well with shrimp chopped to the same size, if you were wondering. Plus a french-style grated carrot salad, it was a great antidote to the weekend’s heavy meals.

    And that brioche recipe is delicious — I made a bunch of mini rolls for the seafood salad but saved two big ones for burgers tonight.

  99. I was looking for something to do with the lobster I purchased this morning, and I think I found something good. This recipe looks fantastic. My stomach started to growl when I was reading this. I can’t wait to share this with my family, thanks for posting this great recipe.

  100. Kyra

    Recently discovered your site and found this recipe courtesy of the suprise me! button. My husband and I are coming up on our 1 year anniversary, and we went on our honeymoon to Maine and fell in love with it as well. This recipe is a wonderful find and I can’t wait to enjoy it and pretend I am there again (and not it hot, humid FL, lol). Thanks!

  101. Jillian

    Made this last night, but instead of buying pre-cooked lobster I bought fresh tails, broiled them, let them cool and then cut up the meat. Turned out delicious, I made the light brioche buns (full size, didn’t realize this recipe used smaller ones) and it was absolutely perfect, reminded me of lobster rolls on block island. Lobster was definitely front and center.

  102. LC

    So…I was browsing your site for inspiration for cinco de mayo. Don’t know how, but this is what I stumbled upon. Screw cinco de mayo! I want ALL of this!

  103. Sarah B

    I credit you with whetting my appetite for Maine with all your fabulous photos. I am currently planning a vacation to Portland for the husband and I’s first year anniversary this July. Being from GA, we are looking for a way to get out of the summer heat. Any recommendations on places to stay near the beach that arent super fancy? Near the beach? We dont need too much, we’re young. I havent planned anything concrete and want to get a car and possibly check out some other spots in the area since it will be my first trip to the northeast. If you have any spare time and feel like there is something that is not to be missed, please, please, please let me know!

  104. I honestly never thought that I’d make lobster rolls at home. Iassumed that if I made a lobster I’d just want to eat it straight up with melted garlic butter. However, we bought a 4.8Lb lobster to share and once we got to the tail we realized we just could not finish it.

    Made the leftover tail into a couple of lobster rolls today (the tail alone was 1/2 a pound!) Used your recipe as a guideline and it turned out amazing. Thanks Deb

  105. Heather

    Not easy to get lobster where I am but a place near me has frozen real lobster meat. I assume it is already cooked and assume all I would have to do is thaw and add to your ingredients?

  106. I made this for the Mother’s Day dinner & it was a BIG HIT. they all the huge fun of lobster rolls. It was the first time cooking for my mother & sisters & they LOVED it. Thanks! I had featured u in the post of Top 7 Gorgeous Recipes of Seafood on AllFreshRecipes, i’ll pay close attention to ur more posts!

  107. Wanza Sansone

    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us! I think toasting the cut sides of buns makes such a wonderful difference!

  108. Katherine Bartel

    I’m in the Pacific Northwest Deb and blessed with tons of fresh crab this season. Might this work with crab? Never heard of a crab roll so I thought it was worth asking the master😁