Learning how to make lobster salad is a rite of passage for New Englanders, but anyone can enjoy this classic coastal treat. Maine lobster salad is super easy to make, and you don’t necessarily need authentic Maine lobsters to make a delicious dish.
Naturally, Maine lobsters are caught in the East Coast’s Atlantic Ocean. But don’t stress if you don’t live in the area — there are other ways to get your hands on New England’s most popular crustaceans.
If you’re a purist, you can actually have real Maine lobsters delivered by mail anywhere in America! In a pinch, even high-quality canned lobster can make for a great lobster salad.
As long as you have some sort of lobster meat, knowing how to make lobster salad properly is the important part. The recipe is simple and straightforward, but the flavors are rich and luxurious. Put on your lobster bib, and let’s get started.
1. Prepare Your Lobster Meat
If you’re using whole lobsters, the first step is to boil or steam them and extract the meat from the shells. Boiling allows you to cook more lobsters at once, and the meat is easier to remove from the shells. Steaming makes the meat more tender and harder to overcook. Either method will result in a delectable Maine lobster salad.
In this guide, we’re focusing on how to make lobster salad, so we’re not going to go into the specific details on how to cook your lobsters and extract the meat.
Use whatever method you prefer, and then drain the lobster, cut the larger pieces into healthy-sized chunks, place them in a food-safe bowl, and let them chill in the fridge for a few hours.
2. Dress the Lobster
The dressing for Maine-style lobster salad is very sparse. You don’t want to overpower the natural flavor of the lobster. Add just enough mayonnaise to lightly coat the meat. Add a splash of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and mix it together. That’s how you make lobster salad!
If you want to spruce it up a bit more, you can add chopped celery, chives, dill, and parsley. Just remember: less is more!
3. Incorporate the Lobster Salad Into a Dish
You can enjoy it as-is, but lobster salad really shines when thoughtfully added to the right dish. The iconic lobster roll is the obvious option. Simply butter and toast a split-top bun on all sides, and scoop a generous heap of your Maine lobster salad into it (lettuce is optional).
Once you know how to make lobster salad, making lobster rolls is the natural next step. It’s the classic New England way, after all. However, you can really get creative with lobster salad, too!
Try making a simple, refreshing salad with spring mix, heirloom tomatoes, and avocado. Or an arugula, fennel, orange, and avocado salad also complements lobster salad beautifully.
You can also add lobster salad to pasta salad for some rich flavor. Another option is to spread your lobster salad onto a classic BLT. For tea parties or lunch get-togethers, try making finger sandwiches with sourdough bread and cucumbers.
4. Consider Connecticut-Style
Learning how to make lobster salad like they do in Maine is just the beginning of your lobster journey! Some people don’t enjoy mayonnaise, so it’s always nice to provide a secondary option. Plus, variety is the spice of life!
Making Connecticut-style lobster salad is as easy-breezy as a morning stroll on a New England beach. Simply warm your chunks of lobster meat in butter — that’s all it needs! Serve it warm and piled high on a toasted bun with a lemon wedge on the side.
5. Create a Stylish Spread
Lobster salad is a luxurious dish that deserves to be showcased in high-end serveware. After all, you took the time to learn how to make lobster salad, so it only makes sense that you show off your culinary prowess!
Our handmade bowls are perfect for serving your Maine lobster salad. If you decide to make Connecticut-style lobster salad as well, consider using matching bowl sets so guests can serve themselves. You’ll also need high-end flatware, such as cocktail forks and spreaders.
Your lobster salad may be the star of the show, but a proper spread will have all sorts of hors d’oeuvres and accouterments. So be sure to pick up some trays and platters to add the finishing touch to the table.
6. Don’t Forget the Drinks
Now that you know how to make lobster salad, try experimenting with complementary beverages. Fill a pitcher with iced water and lemon slices so your guests can stay hydrated and cleanse their palates.
For libations, go with something light in color and flavor. Summery cocktails with vodka, gin, or tequila and refreshing citrus or melon flavors go down easy. Or mix the perfect martini with quality barware if you prefer something a bit fancier.
For wine, you can’t go wrong with chardonnay, rosé, or anything else light and delicate. For beer, choose something with a mild to medium flavor, such as a light Belgian tripel, blonde or pale ale, hefeweizen, lager, or pilsner.
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