A recipe excerpted from Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller.
Though there are many lobster rolls to be had on the East Coast, we think we found the best one. It was at the Saint John Ale House in New Brunswick, a gastropub run by the hugely talented Chef Jesse Vergen. In his words:
The idea for this lobster roll started with a conversation over the tiny lobster rolls you get in tourist traps. Two common culprits are frozen lobster that is steamed, instead of boiled, in either seasoned or ocean water, and a lack of flavour is another. I wanted to see where I could take a lobster roll and create something that wouldn’t leave you feeling like you should’ve ordered the fish and chips. Here’s something that will hold a lot of tasty lobster and has a flavour you won’t soon forget!
Serves: 4 (But remember, they’re giant.)
½ cup (125 mL) salt
4 live female Atlantic lobsters, 1–2 pounds (454 to 910 g) each
4 egg yolks
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
2 cups (500 mL) canola oil
Reserved tomalley and roe from lobsters
9 Tbsp (135 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) Tabasco (optional)
1 large soft loaf of bread, preferably sourdough
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 romaine hearts
Fill a large pot with water, pour in the salt, and set to boil. The pot needs to be big enough to fit all the lobsters without crowding them, so you may want to prepare two pots and divide the lobsters between them.
Once the water is boiling, hold the bodies of the lobsters, cut the bands off the claws and place the lobsters head first into the pot. While cooking, they will turn a vibrant red, but this change in colour does not indicate they’re ready. See the note below for cooking times.
Fill your sink or a large bowl with ice and water, and once the lobsters are cooked, transfer them to the ice bath to stop them from cooking further. Deconstruct the lobsters, and reserve the tomalley and roe as well as the meat.
To make the lobster mayo, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the mustard. Slowly drizzle the oil into the yolks, whisking constantly, until it’s completely incorporated and thick. Add the tomalley and roe. Whisk to incorporate the lemon juice, salt, and Tabasco. Adjust the salt and spice amounts to your taste.
Slice the sourdough loaf into buns by first cutting off each end, cutting the loaf into four even slices, then cutting three-quarters of the way through each slice to make four large buns. Butter the outsides of the buns liberally and fry in a pan over medium heat—you’re looking for the “grilled cheese” effect. Add more butter to the pan if needed.
Chop the romaine hearts and stuff into the warm buns, then spoon in a lobster’s worth of meat into each bun. Drizzle the lobster mayo overtop. Alternatively, you can mix some of the mayo with the lobster meat before stuffing it into the bun. Use any leftover mayo as a dip for your side of potato chips!
Note: Cooking Times
+ 1–1½ pounds (454 to 680 g): 8–10 minutes
+ 1½–1¾ pounds (680 to 800 g): 11–13 minutes
+ 2 pounds (910 g): 15 minutes
We wouldn’t recommend getting lobsters much bigger than 2 pounds, as the smaller ones are much easier to cook evenly.
Learn more about the story behind the cookbook, here.
Find more classic Canadian recipes from Feast here.
Excerpted from Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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