Best Ever Lobster Roll Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

This lobster roll is a celebration of summer. The magic of this luxury street food comes down to texture—the play of the sweet lobster meat with the creamy sauce and the buttery, crunchy roll. I say let the lobster be the star, don’t chop it too small. I like to layer in a lot of crunchy vegetables to play with texture, but it’s optional if you want to leave it out.

Fun fact about lobster: During colonial times in this country, lobsters were seen as “poverty food.” In fact, there was such an abundance of lobsters that Native Americans used them as fertilizer and bait for fishing. At that time, because of their reputation as cheap food, lobsters were served to children, indentured servants and prisoners. Apparently, in Massachusetts, some indentured servants rebelled and had it put into their contracts that they would eat lobster no more than three times a week. We should be so lucky now.


Prep Details

Servings: 4


For Lobster

Two 1½ -pound live lobsters (or 1 pound cooked lobster meat)

Kosher salt or sea salt

½ seedless cucumber, peeled and diced

2 tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup fresh corn

2 medium heirloom tomatoes, diced

4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 drops Tabasco

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup mayonnaise

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Rolls

4 brioche buns

2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened



1. Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Plunge the lobsters into the boiling water, shell side down. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and leave the lobster in the water for another 2 minutes. Using tongs, remove the lobster from the water and let cool.

2. When the lobster is cool enough to handle, use a cleaver to crack and remove the meat from the claws, knuckles and tails. Remove the cartilage from the claws and the intestines from the tails of the cooked meat. Cut the meat into 2-inch pieces.

3. Put the diced cucumber in a colander for at least 5 minutes to drain excess liquid. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the corn for two minutes.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, mayonnaise, and hot sauce. If using, add cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, and basil and toss to coat. Season to taste. Toss the lobster pieces into the mixture, and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.


1. Lightly butter each side of the brioche buns and toast them in a skillet over medium-low heat, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.

2. Stuff each brioche with the chilled lobster salad and serve with pickles and potato chips or fries.