From the Archives: Killer Lobster Rolls in the Style of Your Choice

You know you want a mouthful of this lobster roll. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I'm such a lobster fiend that I can recall only one time in my life that I ate so much of it that I couldn't take another bite. Just how long did it take before I tapped out? In all seriousness: three full days of absolutely nothing but lobster for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As Dirty Harry wisely said, a man has got to know his limitations. I'm glad I know mine.

For people like me, the only thing that stands in the way of more frequent lobster-gorging, aside from the cost, is that damned shell. No matter how good of a picker you are, it takes time to work your way through the shell—especially because no self-respecting lobster lover would cheat and just eat the claws and tail without also getting into the knuckles and body.

This is why lobster rolls are such a treat. All the work has already been done, and all you have to do is sink your teeth into a heaping mound of the good stuff, taking in bigger bites in less time than you ever possibly could if you had to work the shells at the same time. Of course the pre-picking work requires a patient and highly self-controlled individual, someone who can muster the willpower to not eat from the pile of treasure as it grows. We should name a national holiday after such folk.

Connecticut-style lobster rolls.

If you fancy yourself capable of doing this godly work, then Kenji has both the lobster-cooking method and two killer lobster-roll recipes just for you. For the method, he quickly par-steams the lobster, just long enough to make the meat come free from the shell. Then he roasts the tails and claws separately to guarantee a tender, not tight or mushy, texture. (The bodies are saved for another eating them?)

In the first roll, a classic New England-style recipe, the lobster is lightly coated in mayonnaise and served on a toasted, buttered roll. In the other, he shows how to make the rolls Connecticut-style, dressed in warm butter with scallions.

If you love lobster, you should make these. And you have my permission to stake a claim: As the picker-of-the-meat, you get dibs on two rolls for every one anybody else can eat. That's fair, right?

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