In 1997 when Pearl opened, you could only get lobster rolls in East Coast beach towns. Often they weren’t very good. So, I used the best ingredients to get the best product: steaming our lobsters every morning; using the whole lobster in the salad not just claws and knuckles; Hellmann’s mayonnaise (too expensive for the average lobster shack); and the now legendary Pepperidge Farm bun. No one used a Pepperidge Farm bun then. I had to arrange special deliveries, just to get them. You will hear way too much smack talk on what makes the best lobster roll: claw versus tail meat, hot versus cold, lobster salad with mayo mixed in or just swiped on the bun. You should make what YOU like. I did!
- Two 1 1/2-pound lobsters cooked and picked, about 2 pounds of meat
- 1/2 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1/4 Cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
- Squeeze of lemon
- Pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 top-split hot dog buns, preferably Pepperidge Farm
- Chopped chives, for garnish
To make the lobster salad, chop lobster meat (tail, knuckle, and claws) into ½- to ¾ -inch chunks. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lobster meat, celery, mayonnaise, lemon, and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Cover the mixture and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It will last up to 2 days.
To prepare the bun, in a small sauté pan over low to medium heat, melt the 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. Sprinkle with chives and serve with a salad, slaw or shoestring fries.
(Variation: For a shrimp roll, substitute 2 pounds of shrimp, cooked, peeled, and sliced in half lengthwise.)