Butter-Poached Lobster Rolls

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

You guys — lobster tails were on sale at Whole Foods last week (tipped by Shaeda) so naturally, we went a little crazy. I picked up a few tails, and was pretty set on making some butter-poached lobster rolls.

My first lobster roll wasn’t too long ago — as a kid, I wasn’t always the biggest fan of lobster. I didn’t dislike lobster, but I did (and for the most part, still do) feel that lobster was unnecessarily expensive. It’s good, but it’s not as good as say, a fantastically prepared steak.

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

I haven’t had many opportunities to chow down on seafood this summer (less sailing, few trips to the north east), but we made sure to get back on track with homemade lobster rolls. The butter-poaching process gives you an even more tender meat, and I’m personally a bigger fan of the hot lobster roll, the simpler, less-mayo-y version that leaves you with chunks of meat, tossed in melted butter, chives, and salt and pepper.

If you luck out at Whole Foods and find lobster tails for $5.99, get some, and give yourself a real piece of summer :)

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

Oh Emma Thompson. You get me every time.

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

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Butter-poached lobster rolls (makes 2), after the jump.

4 three-ounce lobster tails, uncooked
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
2 to 3 tablespoons chives, minced (depends on how chive-y you like your lobsta)
Sea salt — the chunkier, the better
Smidge of black pepper
Smidge of ground cayenne pepper
Half a lemon, cut into wedges
2 potato rolls, or new-england style


First, bring a large pot of water to a fast boil. Chances are, your lobster tails were frozen before being transported to your grocery store (and depending on how long before cooking you purchased them, probably still quite cold), so you’ll need some HOT water to keep the boil going once you dump the tails in.

Drop your lobster tails into the boiling water, and once the water comes back to a fast boil, set a timer for 2 minutes. We want to cook the meat juuuuust long enough to help separate the lobster meat from the shells — but not cook the meat all the way through.

Once the timer goes off, remove the tails from the pot, and set in a strainer. While still hot, slice the tails open (lengthwise) and peel off the shells. Set the meat aside, and then slice in half lengthwise.

In a smaller saucepan, bring a half cup of butter to a boil. If you have clairified butter (ghee) that would probably work better, but I just went for the real thing, milk fats and all. Place all of your lobster meat in the butter, ensuring that each piece is doused, and boil for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how large the tails actually were. If they were the 3-4 oz. tails, 5 minutes will suffice, but larger tails will need a little more time.

In a mixing bowl, combine about half of your chopped chives, salt, pepper, and cayenne. When the meat is done cooking, spoon the tails out, and spoon a little bit of melted butter into your chive and cayenne bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Chop the lobster meat into half-inch cubes or so, and toss with the chive mix. Add butter as necessary. The more, the merrier — but you probably don’t want butter dripping all over your clothes, so beware. Or, maybe you do.

Squeeze a lemon wedge over the lobster, and toss a little more.

Brush two potato rolls with some of the melted butter (outside and in), and toast until brown. Fill each bun with lobster meat, and sprinkle some sea salt and a few more chives on top. Serve with extra butter and a lemon wedge.