The origin of the lobster roll is a topic of debate, but it's believed to have originated in the United States, particularly in the New England region. The most traditional style of Lobster Roll is sometimes known as Maine-Style, where the lobster meat is lightly dressed with mayonnaise and served in a buttered, toasted bun. Connecticut-Style on the other hand features warm lobster meat served in a buttered roll without mayonnaise, often with melted butter drizzled over the top.
At Dawson’s we love a Maine-Style Lobster Roll but with a twist. In store we have a range of our own sauces and vinaigrettes designed as accompaniments for our oysters. We’ve worked out that our Thai Style Vinaigrette, made with vinegar, fish sauce, chili, coriander and palm sugar is the perfect addition to your Lobster Roll dressing!
- 1 whole cooked lobster, cut and cleaned (see our notes below on types of lobster and tips and tricks for preparation)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup Dawson’s Gourmet Thai Style Vinaigrette
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 New England-style hot dog buns (see our notes below for the ideal buns)
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Fresh chives or parsley for garnish
- Remove the lobster meat from the shells and chop into bite-sized pieces. See tips below. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, chopped celery, green onions, Thai style vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Mix well to create the dressing.
- Gently fold the lobster meat into the dressing until it is evenly coated. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Cut you buns down the middle and brush the insides of the hot dog buns with butter.
- Heat a skillet or pan over medium heat. Toast the buns on both sides until golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Open the toasted buns and fill each with a generous amount of the lobster mixture.
- Garnish with fresh chives or parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade lobster rolls!
Choosing the Perfect Bun
In North America, the New England-style hot dog bun can be found in most supermarkets or bakeries. In Australia, brioche hot dog buns are what you’re looking for. These can nowadays be easily found in Coles and Woolworths.
The perfect lobster roll bun is characterized by being split at the top rather than the side, and typically the sides of the bun are trimmed, allowing the bun to be easily toasted on the flat sides with butter.
Tips and Techniques: Preparing Lobster Meat
There are a number of ways to remove meat from a whole lobster. We think using a sharp kitchen knife works well and you can find step by step instructions with pictures here.
All Things Lobster
When purchasing Lobsters, look for brightly coloured, firm, intact, lustrous shells without any discoloration, particularly at the joints, and ensure a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Western Rock Lobster (Panulirus cygnus): closely related to Tropical Rock Lobsters, Western Rocks are endemic to Australia and inhabit waters from Shark Bay to Albany, Western Australia.
The Western Rock Lobster holds high commercial value, constituting over half the total value of the Australian finfish catch. Primarily caught using pots, these lobsters are typically exported live or frozen to markets in Japan, Taiwan, or China. They are available whole or as tails, with a typical size range of 8-10 cm and 500g-1kg, although they can grow as large as 5.5 kg.
Southern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardsii): Known by various names including Cray, Crayfish, and Red Rock Lobster, they are part of the Palinuridae family and are primarily found in the waters from Geraldton, WA, south to Coffs Harbour, NSW,
The Southern Rock Lobster shares similarities with the Eastern Rock Lobster, though their distinctive rough-textured shell is orange-red before cooking, differing from the greeny-black shell of their Eastern counterparts. The average size ranges from 600g to 1.2kg and 10.5-13.5cm, but they can grow as large as 6kg and 30cm.
Eastern Rock Lobster (Jasus verreauxi): Are a highly valued marine crustacean widely recognized for their popularity in the Sydney market. Available through wild-capture, these lobsters are prevalent along the eastern coast of Australia, ranging from the NSW-Queensland border to Bass Strait and the north-eastern coast of Tasmania.
Closely resembling Southern Rock Lobsters, the Eastern Rock Lobsters can be distinguished by their greeny-black shell prior to cooking and the smooth texture of their tail. They are available year-round, boasting a significant size range with recorded specimens reaching up to 8kg and over 40cm carapace length. Typically, they range from 400g to 2.5kg and 10.5-17cm, making them the largest Rock Lobsters in the world.
Lobsters At Dawson’s
We stock a number of options for your lobster rolls or next seafood spread. For the budget conscious, whole cooked Western Rock Lobsters can be found in our freezer section year round. One of these will set you back about $42 and yeild approximately 350 grams of lobster meat.
We work closely with Newcastle Fishermen’s Co Op, and if you love lobsters the Eastern Rocks that we source from the co-op are in our opinion, some of the best in Australia. Local fresh cooked or green Eastern Rock Lobsters will set you back anywhere from $100 - $120 p/kg.
If Southern Rock Lobsters are what you’re after, we stock Ferguson Australia green lobster halves year round in our freezer section too. Perfect for a smaller batch of lobster rolls, these yield approximately 125 grms of lobster meat and cost $32.50 per half.
The differences in flavour can be influenced by the lobsters' diet, the composition of their habitat, and the water conditions in their respective regions. Lobsters, in general, have a sweet and delicate taste, but each type may have its unique nuances.
The Western Rock Lobster is known for its sweet, delicate flavour with a hint of richness. The meat is often described as succulent, tender, and moist. It has a slightly more pronounced flavour compared to some other lobster varieties.
Southern Rock Lobster meat is succulent and tender, with a taste that is often described as more intense and sweet compared to other varieties of lobster.
Eastern Rock Lobsters are celebrated for their sweetness, and are considered to have a more subtle and delicate taste.