Bite-Sized Guide: Portland, Maine

Recipe: Brown Butter Lobster Rolls

Image Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani

For me, a trip to Maine is never complete without eating a lobster roll. I typically prefer the classic Maine style — big chunks of meat tossed with just a touch of mayo, piled into a squishy hot dog bun — but I'm always game to try a spin on the traditional roll.

That's where Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine, comes in. They toss the lobster meat in brown butter, which entirely changes the game. Eventide's lobster roll is extra rich, nutty, and by far the most indulgent you can find.

A More Indulgent Way to Enjoy a Lobster Roll

These rolls are inspired by Eventide's. The folks there also stuff the decadent lobster meat into Asian steamed buns that are shaped like traditional hot dog rolls. The buns are light and extra fluffy, which is a nice contrast to the warm lobster. Those aren't particularly easy to come by, but brioche hot dog buns make for a slightly different, albeit delicious, substitute. What's truly special here is the brown butter. It's a nutty contrast to the lobster meat that's balanced by a big squeeze of lemon juice and a smattering of chopped fresh chives. If you ask me, this is the best celebration of summer you can dig into.

Image Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani

Brown Butter Lobster Rolls

Serves 4

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 pound cooked Maine lobster meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
4 brioche hot dog buns
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Melt the butter in a light-colored, high-sided large frying pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly. As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan to a toasty-brown. Once you smell that nutty aroma, immediately take the pan off the heat, add the lobster meat, and toss to combine. Add the lemon juice and salt and give the mixture another toss.

Divide the lobster meat among the buns. Top each with chives and serve immediately.

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