Buying fresh, live lobster and good-quality buns will result in the most delicious lobster rolls. Look for live crustaceans from Maine that have all their claws and antennae intact, and toast fresh, squishy buns on a griddle with butter before filling and serving.
What You Will Need
- 3 live Maine lobsters, about 1 1/2 lb. each
- About 10 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. sea salt, divided
- 4 split-top buns, such as hot dog buns
- 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
- Sweet paprika
- 8 medium slices bibb lettuce, or similar
- Finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish
- In a large pot, add enough water to reach about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon sea salt, and bring to a boil. Add the lobsters and cover the pot. Cook until the shells are bright red and the meat is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Remove the lobsters and let cool slightly, then crack open the claws, tails, and knuckles and remove the meat; rinse under warm water as needed to remove any impurities. Cut into 1-inch pieces and reserve. (You can discard the carapaces and shells, or save for stock.)
- On a large griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat, rub ½ tablespoon of the butter over the surface to thinly coat. Add the buns and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are lightly toasted, about 4 minutes total.
- In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter and stir in ½ teaspoon sea salt and a generous pinch of paprika. Turn off the heat and add the reserved lobster meat; stir to coat.
- Line each of the rolls with two leaves of lettuce. Spoon the lobster among the prepared rolls. Top with more paprika to taste, and garnish generously with chives. Serve immediately.