Perfect Lobster Roll

Our classic New England recipe is an ideal introduction to lobster rolls. Once you've mastered it, check out our regional takes below. Whichever version you choose, pair it with a chilled rose or crisp lager.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2016


  • Two 2 1/2-pound or three 1 1/2-pound live lobsters
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 top-split buns
  • Melted unsalted butter
  • Lemon wedges and potato chips, for serving


  1. Steam Lobster: In a large pot lined with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Drop the lobsters headfirst into the pot and cover. Reduce heat to a simmer and steam until the shells just turn bright red, 12 to 14 minutes. To check for doneness, pull on an antenna; if it releases from the shell with little resistance, the lobster is properly cooked. (Many seafood markets will do the steaming for you -- just ask.)

  2. Extract Meat: Hold the tail in one hand and the body in the other; twist and pull to separate. For claws and legs, twist and pull where they're attached to the body. Use lobster- or nutcrackers or a mallet to crack the shells. To get all the meat out in one swift motion, insert a fork into the underside of the tail and push up. Then chop into bite-size pieces.

  3. Mix, Toast, and Fill: In a bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt. Fold in chopped lobster meat. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium. Generously brush top and sides of buns with butter. (Top-split are narrower than side-split, so you get a greater ratio of lobster to bread.) Place buns, flat-side down, in skillet and toast, flipping halfway through, until crisp and golden on both sides, about 3 minutes. Divide lobster meat among buns and serve, with lemon wedges and potato chips.


Connecticut Bright
Substitute 4 tablespoons melted butter for mayonnaise and orange juice for lemon. Fold in 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon; sprinkle more leaves on top.

Maryland Spice
Stir 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne into mayonnaise mixture. Drizzle top with melted butter; sprinkle with more Old Bay.

California Cool
Swap in lime juice for lemon. Fold in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1 diced avocado. Serve with lime wedges and more cilantro.


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