lobster roll

How to Upgrade Your Summer Lobster Roll

There’s no better time than the present for this summertime staple.

Grab your novelty lobster-print bib and prepare yourself. There's a different, not-so-secret type of lobster roll that may change your life, or at least, your summer cookouts.

Native to New England, the most common types of lobster rolls are Maine, which features a cold mayonnaise-based lobster salad, and Connecticut, in which the lobster meat is tossed in butter and served warm on a bun.

“Warm lobster rolls are the superior roll, in my opinion,” says Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor Chris Arturo. “I absolutely would never say no to the mayo-based, but Connecticut-style is where it’s at.”

Whichever style you prefer — we certainly don’t judge — a classic lobster roll is a perfect summertime treat.

READ MORE: Unique Summer Grilling Ingredients

Though normally a purist, Chef Chris amps up his Connecticut-style lobster roll by adding microplaned garlic, togarashi and tomato purée. “Specifically not tomato paste,” he adds.

He then tosses the roasted tomato butter with big chunks of lobster meat (from the tail and the claws), and piles it high on a freshly-baked pain de mie roll. The result is an incredibly savory, buttery bite that is sure to impress anyone you're willing to share it with.

Looking to get your lobster roll on here in New York City? Chef Chris suggests heading to Cull & Pistol in Chelsea Market.

“There’s a $1 oyster happy hour,” he says. “You can get 20 oysters, knock out a lobster roll, have a couple of beers and you’ll be super happy.”

Here’s how to make Chef Chris’s elevated lobster roll with roasted tomato purée at home.




Lobster Roll with Roasted Tomato Butter

Yields 8


For the Lobster Meat:

  • 4 whole lobsters, tail and claw removed
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt

For the Roasted Tomato Butter:

  • 1/4 pound of butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 3 tablespoons roasted tomato purée
  • 2 teaspoons togarashi
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias

For the Pain de Mie: 

  • 700 grams milk
  • 400 grams warm water
  • 70 grams granulated sugar
  • 30 grams instant yeast
  • 1550 grams all-purpose flour
  • 150 grams unsalted butter
  • 50 grams kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • Canola oil

For Assembly:

  • Unsalted butter
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias


For the Lobster Meat:

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch lobster tail and claw for 2 minutes; remove and shock in ice water and reserve.

For the Roasted Tomato Butter:

In a saucepot, bring butter, garlic, roasted tomato purée and togarashi to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste.

For the Pain de Mie:

  1. Preheat convection oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place the flour in a KitchenAid mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment. 
  3. Form a well and add the milk, water, sugar and yeast, and mix on speed 2 for about 2 minutes, or until well incorporated.
  4. Keeping the machine on speed 2, add the butter a little at a time until fully incorporated, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the salt and mix for another 2 minutes
  6. Bulk proof the dough for 1 hour.
  7. Once dough is proofed, portion the dough into 25 gram sections and place into greased 3”x1” pain de mie molds and proof for 10 more minutes.
  8. Lightly brush the portioned dough with egg wash and bake in oven for 14 minutes.
  9. Rotate and egg wash the dough again and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  10. Rotate and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, depending on color.
  11. Remove and let cool.

For Assembly:

  1. Submerge lobster in roasted tomato butter and season to taste. Reserve.
  2. Remove pain de mie from pan and cut open down the center, leaving the roll intact. 
  3. Bring plancha or grill pan to medium-high heat; add butter and toast pain de mie.
  4. Place pain de mie on a plate and stuff with lobster meat mix. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

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