Traditionally, chopped lobster meat soaked in warm drawn butter and served in a steamed hot dog bun, is called a lobster roll. Served cold, with or without a folding of mayonnaise, it becomes a lobster salad roll. In Maine, which has now become synonymous with the lobster roll, the buns are also baked differently, with flattened sides so they can be buttered and lightly toasted or grilled. They might even add in a bit of spring onion and celery there.
Citrus goes well with lobster and in this recipe, the juice of aromatic yuzu, similar to grapefruit but with a mandarin sweetness, is used to make the mayonnaise. If you have it, as it is not readily available at the moment in the UK, yuzukosho, a paste made with yuzu zest , green chilli and salt works very well indeed. In which case, make your mayonnaise as usual and instead of seasoning, add one to two teaspoons of yuzukosho.
For this recipe cooked frozen lobster has been used, largely because all the fishmongers had sold out of fresh lobster, and partly because the thought of smothering succulent native lobster in mayonnaise, didn’t seem like the done thing. Cooked, frozen lobsters tend to be from the US or Canada, where the crustaceans are much smaller in size, compared to those from British or European waters. Please read the instructions for defrosting frozen lobster carefully and do not thaw and refreeze.
Makes 4 rolls.
800g-1kg lobster with shell on (2 frozen lobsters)
For the mayonnaise:
2 large egg yolks
1 and 1/2 tbsp yuzu juice (available from the World Food aisle of most supermarkets)
200-250ml sunflower oil
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
2 spring onions
Celery stick -approx 10cm length
Handful of celery leaves
For the rolls:
4 hot dog rolls
Defrost the frozen lobsters according to instructions -likely overnight in the fridge. The following day, remove the tail meat, knuckle and claw, rinse and place in the fridge until ready to use. The shell, legs and cleaned heads can be used to make wonderful stock, but must be used quickly.
For the mayonnaise, place the yolks in a large mixing bowl and beat. Add the yuzu juice and then slowly add the sunflower oil, beating and incorporating the oil thoroughly before adding any further.
Season with salt and pepper and then add the chilli powder. Finely chop the spring onion and slice the stick of celery as thinly as as possible. Tear the celery leaves, or if small in size, leave whole. Add these to the mayonnaise and fold in, using a spoon or spatula, mixing thoroughly. Finally, add the lobster meat and coat evenly.
In a frying pan, melt the butter and then over a medium heat, toast the hot dog rolls, squashing and flattening the sides. Once toasted, split the rolls and fill generously with the lobster mayonnaise mix.