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+ servings

“Naked” Lobster Rolls

Author - Serena Wolf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 4 1½ lb live lobsters or 1 lb picked lobster meat if you’re feeling lazy
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 cloves garlic mince
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • teaspoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped
  • 4 New England-style hot dog buns
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter


  • Fill a large stockpot half full with water. Add the salt and bring the water to a rolling boil. (If you do not have a giant stockpot, chillax. You can use the largest pot you have and cook your lobsters two at a time.)
  • Plunge your lobsters headfirst into the boiling water and put the lid on immediately. Boil your lobsters for 10-15 minutes (hard-shell take longer to cook than soft-shell…ask your lobster purveyor to tell you which type of shells you’re working with), or until the shells turn bright red. When cooked, remove the lobsters from the pot using tongs and drain them in a colander.
  • -When your lobsters are cool enough to handle, it’s time to pick the lobster meat. (I like to put the lobsters in a baking dish and stick them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to cool them down more quickly). First, pull the arms from each of the lobsters (the arms are attached to the claws, obviously) and set them aside. Then pinch near the top of each tail and twist to separate it from the body. Discard the heads/thorax (or if you are a fancy chef, you could use them to flavor a lobster or seafood soup). To pick the meat from the claws, hyperextend the lobster’s thumb and pull it off. Use a cracker, knife, kitchen shears or your hands to break the shell and remove the meat. Use a cracker to break the shell of the knuckles (the connection between the claws and the body) and remove the meat using a small fork. To pick the tail meat, you can either split the tail down the center with a knife or pull the edges of the tail shell firmly apart, snapping it apart. You may see some green tomalley on the tail meat where it connected to the body. Don’t freak out, just wipe it with a paper towel and forget about it immediately.
  • Roughly chop all of your picked Lobster meat into large chunks. I like to only chop the tail meat, leaving the claws and knuckles intact, but feel free to chop everything if you like.
  • Heat 1½ tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan. When melted, add the garlic, shallots and lemon zest and sauté for about 2 minutes until the shallots have softened and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the white wine and allow it to evaporate completely. This should take about 3 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 4½ tablespoons of butter to the pan and whisk until melted and foamy.
  • Add your picked lobster meat to the pan and cook in the butter sauce for about 1 minute or until heated through. Remove from the heat and mix in the chopped tarragon.
  • Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Lightly butter the outside of each bun with softened butter. Grill the buns for 1 minute on each side until they are toasted and have some badass grill marks.
  • Fill each bun with your buttery lobster meat and go to town.