Maine-Style Lobster Rolls


Mary-Frances Heck refers to these lobster rolls as “knuckle sandwiches” because they showcase the knuckles—the segments that connect the claws to the carapace—which are the sweetest, most tender meat on a lobster. Dressed simply with mayo, the cold salad sits in a hot, buttered bun. Her tip for tackling the admittedly tedious work of cracking the shells? Do it with a friend and a cold beer.

Maine Style Lobster Rolls
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chervil or tarragon

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup minced celery

  • 1 pound cooked, shucked, and chopped lobster meat (from knuckles and 6 pincer claws from Steamed Lobster and Corn for a Crowd or 3 [1 1/2-pound] whole lobsters)

  • 6 top-split (New England–style) hot dog buns, separated

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

  • 6 butter lettuce leaves

  • 6 cooked and shucked lobster pincer claws (optional)


  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and chervil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in celery, and fold in chopped lobster meat. Cover and chill up to 4 hours.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium. Butter sides of buns, and toast in skillet until golden and heated through, about 2 minutes per side.

  3. Fold chives into lobster salad. Place a lettuce leaf inside each bun, and divide lobster salad evenly among buns. Sprinkle with chives. Top each with 1 pincer claw, if desired. Serve immediately.

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