Summer on Long Island isn’t complete without enjoying a lobster roll at one of the many restaurants across Long Island that serve them, but for those who can’t get enough, the delicious delicacy can easily be made at home.
Long Island native, author, and Chopped champion Chef Eric LeVine who runs 317 Main Street in Farmingdale revealed his secret to preparing the perfect lobster roll — a dish he’s made countless times during his decades in the restaurant industry. His first tip? Don’t cheap out on the key ingredient.
“Make it fresh,” he said, noting that for best results, only Maine lobster bought from a local fish market will do. “Don’t use frozen lobster because the water content it too high.”
Nobody wants a soggy lobster roll. For the same reason, the former Elmont and Valley Stream resident who previously did catering at the Lido Golf Club said that after shelling a fresh lobster, pat the meat dry.
But first things first. When shopping for a fresh lobster, LeVine said finding a female is the goal. Female lobsters can be identified by what look like little hairs on their underbelly, he said. Females also have broader tails than male lobsters.
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‘They tend to be sweeter,” said the chef. “They tend to be a little more tender.”
He also advises against putting a lobster in already-boiling water. The best method is to put the lobster in a pot of water and then bring the water to a boil until it reaches 165 degrees. Lobsters should be boiled 10 to 20 minutes.
After the lobster is cooked, shelled, and the meat is patted dry, mix it with one tablespoon of mayonnaise and two tablespoons of lemon juice per pound of lobster meat. Add salt and white pepper.
Another reason to use a female lobster is the possibility of finding roe in the tail. If that happens, run the roe through a cocktail strainer and add it to the recipe while mixing the mayo, meat, and lemon juice. He said the addition is “really tasty.”
The last step is selecting the bun, which should ideally be lightly buttered and toasted. LeVine prefers a brioche bun, but adds that some lobster-roll lovers would rather have it on a hot dog bun. Once toasted and buttered, put the lobster on the bun and enjoy!
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