Father's Day

New England Lobster Rolls with Lemon Chive Mayonnaise

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I've had many lobster roll cravings- there's something about the sweet, tender lobster meat in the warm, buttery roll that gets me every time. Now I know that there's a lot of debate as to what the best lobster roll recipe is. Some purists simply put steamed lobster in a buttered, toasted bun with no mayonnaise or other accoutrements. I however, prefer my lobster rolls with a light coating of lemony mayonnaise, some finely chopped celery for crunch and Boston lettuce to keep the bun from getting soggy.
When making a dish with such few ingredients, it's really important to use the best quality ingredients, so I like to make my own mayonnaise. Once you know the technique, mayonnaise is actually not too difficult to make and the flavor and texture just can't be rivaled by the store-bought variety.
Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

What You'll Need
  • Lobster Rolls
  • 2 cups cooked, diced lobster meat
  • 1/4 cup homemade lemon chive mayonnaise (or other good quality mayonnaise)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 top split hot dog buns
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 leaves Boston lettuce, sliced
  • Lemon Chive Mayonnaise (makes 1 cup)
  • 1 room temperature egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces canola or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives
  1. Lobster Rolls
  2. To steam your lobster: bring 2 inches of salted water to a rolling boil. Put live lobsters in water, cover the pot, and steam for 8-10 minutes per 1 1/4 pound lobster. They're done when the antennae pull out fairly easily, or the internal temperature of the lobster meat reaches 135 ° F.
  3. Mix the lobster, mayonnaise, and celery together in a bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush the inner and outer surfaces of the buns with butter. Open the buns up and toast them in the skillet until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Arrange some lettuce on each bun and top with equal portions of the lobster mixture. Serve immediately, preferably with a cold beer on the side!
  1. Lemon Chive Mayonnaise (makes 1 cup)
  2. Place the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Mix the canola and olive oils together in a measuring cup. While constantly whisking the egg mixture in the bowl, slowly pour the oil into the mixture, drop by drop, until an emulsion forms. Continue to whisk as you very slowly pour the oil into the bowl in a thin stream. If the mixture gets too thick, add the water to thin it out. Once about half of the oil is mixed in, you can pour the rest of the oil in a little faster. When all of the oil is in, you should have a smooth mixture with a consistency slightly looser than store bought mayonnaise. At this point, taste the mayonnaise and season it to taste with salt and more lemon juice if desired. Stir in the chives. Store any extra mayonnaise in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than a few days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • William Hejna
    William Hejna
  • walkie74
  • Nerdy Gastronome
    Nerdy Gastronome
  • chefrockyrd
  • MaureenOnTheCape

18 Reviews

William H. June 20, 2018
These look good and I'm a midwesterner, so authentic New England lobster rolls are not necessary for me. I am confused where the recipe says "steamed" lobster but then describes placing the lobster in boiling water...wouldn't that be "boiled" lobster (which is what I'm familiar with. How do you cook lobster for sandwiches in New England?
FoodieYogi March 3, 2016
From CT, I will only have a hot lobster roll (CT style). Toasted split top roll with butter, hot lobster steamed and soaked in butter and lemon juice. NO MAYO! ew!
walkie74 July 1, 2015
Folks on the West Coast: You can find top split rolls at Fuddrucker's. They will literally sell you a dozen for 3 bucks or so. They work really well!
Nerdy G. January 4, 2015
These were absolutely delicious! We ended up using ciabatta buns because decent hot dog buns were scarce.
Toddie August 14, 2014
I just found out that my Brooklyn Trader Joe's carries proper top split hot dog rolls. They even have them in whole wheat. Their whoopie pies aren't so bad either. Not like Maine but it will have to do until I get back up there.
chefrockyrd August 14, 2014
ps I forgot to mention for those of you that wish to make their own rolls, King Arthur has a recipe for New England hot dog rolls on their website.
margothand August 20, 2014
chefrockyrd August 14, 2014
I live in Down East Maine, land of the lobsters (and wild ME blueberries). I just cooked 23 lobsters yesterday for company to make into lobster rolls.
I agree with Maureen on the Cape. This may be a lobster sandwich which is fine but not a New England Lobster roll. The chive mayo may be good and all of the other additions too but its not authentic. If it were me, I would just call it our family's version or "wish I were in New England eating a lobster roll"
I realize people get all hot and bothered by things like this. Around here its serious, no one will buy from the guy who puts fillers of celery and lettuce on his lobster rolls.
BTW if your grocery store has a bakery where they bake off hot dog/hamburger rolls you can order them and request that they do not cut them, then you can do the top cut yourself. When a friend visited from Chicago wanted to make her cities famous hot dogs we ordered them with poppy seeds just like she gets back home.
MaureenOnTheCape July 23, 2014
I live on Cape Cod where the most authentic lobster roll has a fried, buttered split-top hot dog roll mentioned here, fresh lobster meat with just enough mayonnaise to hold the pieces together, and a squeeze of fresh lemon along the top. That's it. Veggies are wonderful but they have no place in a lobster roll. You can get some crunch from the occasional shell that got left behind in the meat. :)
K.Edwards June 12, 2014
me too. i would love to try my hand at making those special rolls.
fondest childhood memories of lobster rolls on Plum Island.
Sonali A. August 22, 2013
The classic top split buns with the flat sides are very hard to find outside of New England. I believe I used Pepperidge Farm top split hot dog buns but it wasn't the same!
Monte63060 August 21, 2013
It surprises me that a physician's recipe suggests using Canola Oil, which is a toxic substance known to have originated as an industrial lubricant.
Sonali A. August 22, 2013
I don't want to get into a debate about canola oil. If you don't want to use it you can substitute any neutral flavored oil.
Stephanie G. July 16, 2020
I use avocado oil instead. Tastes delicious.
Stubor August 21, 2013
Regarding the mayonnaise, I find using a stick blender in a measuring cup to be an easy way to make the emulsion.
Kiddart August 21, 2013
I'm from N England too, and used to be so frustrated I couldn't find top split buns but then I stumbled upon a product called King's Hawaiian hot dog buns in my Shop Rite store in NJ. Holy cow! It's sweet bread recipe that reminds me of the Portuguese sweet bread we also used to get growing up. I highly recommend these for lobster rolls. Company has an on line store if you wanna splurge for special occasion. In grocery, nowhere near as expensive. But I'm telling you, buttered and toasted with lobster salad. Wow.
Toddie August 21, 2013
I agree, Pensawjones. They aren't New England lobster rolls unless they are served in New England-style, top-sliced rolls. The top-sliced rolls have bready sides rather than crusty, which can be buttered and toasted. The side-split buns always break open at the bottom after they've been open and toasted and all the lovely lobster (or hotdog fixings) falls into your lap. They are hard to find outside of NE but they are worth the search.
Pensawjones August 21, 2013
I grew up in New England and remember many a lobster roll. The hotdog rolls made today are so different. The ones I remember we're squared at the bottom allowing more lobster and filling. If anyone has a recipe for the old fashion, and I am thinking Howard Johnson, hotdog roll, I would love to make them.