Food & Drink

Classic New England Lobster Roll

Copyright © 2015 by Matthew Benson


From Sarah Leah Chase: I have eaten lobster rolls at shacks, shanties, pounds, dives, and even upscale restaurants all over coastal New England. Many hundreds of dollars later, I have finally come to the conclusion that the best lobster rolls are hands down always the ones I make at home.

My Favorite Classic New England Lobster Roll

Serves 4


  • 1 generous pound cooked lobster meat, freshly picked from the shell and cut into meaty chunks (2 cups chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 rib celery, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or chives
  • ⅓ to ½ cup mayonnaise, homemade (recipe follows) or Hellmann’s
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, preferably Kate’s salted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 New England-style, top split hot dog buns


  1. Place the lobster meat in a medium-size mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, and toss to coat lightly. Add the celery and dill or chives, stirring gently to combine. Fold in just enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together. The filling should be moist but not soupy. If you are not using the lobster salad immediately, store it in the refrigerator, covered, for no more than a few hours.
  2. When ready to serve, generously butter the outside of each hot dog bun and then brown the buns in a skillet, one side at a time (and not the bottom or insides) over medium-low heat, until the outsides become golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the chilled lobster salad down the center of each toasted hot dog bun, mounding the filling somewhat sumptuously. Serve at once, as the temperature contrast between the warm, buttery hot dog buns and the cold lobster filling is an essential component of the whole wonderful lobster roll experience.

Homemade Mayonnaise

If you have reason to worry about eating raw foods, then you should probably skip this recipe and opt to use the only other brand of commercial mayonnaise I ever use, Hellmann’s.

Makes about 1¼ cups


  • 1 extra-large very fresh egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)


  1. Place the egg yolk, mustard, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper and whisk to combine. While continuing to whisk, pour in the vegetable and olive oils in a very slow steady stream until all has been incorporated and the mixture has formed a thick emulsion. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice and the sriracha, if using. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper as needed. Store the mayonnaise, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use. The mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

New England Open-House CookbookNew England Open-House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase

From a born-and-bred New Englander comes a book that sings with all the flavors and textures of the beloved region. Sarah Leah Chase is a caterer, cooking teacher, and prolific writer. In New England Open-House Cookbook, Sarah draws from her memories of growing up in Connecticut and Maine; her experience living and cooking on Cape Cod; and her extensive travels meeting farmers, fishermen, and chefs. The result is a wide-ranging cookbook for everyone who has skied the mountains of Vermont, sailed off the coast of Maine, dug for clams on Cape Cod, or just wishes they had.

GET THE BOOK: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Powell’s | Workman