A New England Roll Without the Lobstah

June 23, 2015   23 Comments

I went on a trip to Cape Cod and couldn’t believe the number of signs for lobster rolls.

Shrimp Roll Recipe

At restaurants, convenience stores, and GAS STATIONS (not kidding) you could find a sign that said “Voted Best Lobster Roll on Cape Cod - $8.99”.

Hmmmm. I didn’t purchase any lobster rolls because I am a fan of lobster au natural (AKA right out of the shell) and I fear food poisoning from undercooked seafood or mayonnaise left out in the sun.

Lobster rolls are made with lobster, mayo (or butter), and assorted other ingredients and served in a New England hot dog bun which has a slit on the top. Don’t try to find these buns anywhere else in the country.

I created this “shrimp roll” because I don’t believe any of you have the time or inclination to buy, steam, and pry the meat out of a lobster. You can buy cooked shrimp either frozen or in the seafood counter and use this for the recipe. I poached my shrimp because I misread the label on the package (bought raw, unpeeled shrimp) and it was a bit of a chore.

If you decide to cook the shrimp, get about 1 inch of water and 1 teaspoon of salt into a rolling boil and then add thawed shrimp and cook for 4-5 minutes until bright pink. The time cooking is going to depend on the size of the shrimp.

I made this without mayonnaise because a friend of mine was coming over for lunch (and she hates mayo). It tasted great without it!! But, I do happen to love it with it, too.

Have you ever had a lobster or shrimp roll?

Shrimp Roll Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

Makes 4 servings

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1 pound cooked shrimp, chopped
3 scallions, minced including green part
3 stalks celery, minced
½ lemon, juiced
¼ teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ketchup
hot dog buns (optional)
parsley, chopped (optional)


Mix shrimp, scallions, and celery in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, seafood seasoning, mayonnaise, and ketchup and mix until blended. Serve in hot dog buns, on a lettuce leaf, or plain and add chopped parsley for a garnish.

Nutrition Facts

With mayo and ketchup (no bun): 159 calories, 3.3 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 4.4 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g sugar, 26.3 g protein, 0.5 g fiber, 384 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Without mayo and ketchup (no bun): 143 calories, 2.0 g fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 3.2 g carbohydrates, 0.7 g sugar, 26.2 g protein, 0.5 g fiber, 343 mg sodium, 3 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 23 )

Bummer, I thought you had a non-shellfish alternative idea. Ever since I developed an allergy, I miss my once a summer lobster roll. These look good, but they're not for me. FYI- Wegmans carries NE hot dog buns, even here in Virginia.

@Jill - if you had a white fish - like Cod - you could make this. I think Tilapia could work. Thanks for the info. on the buns - I couldn't find them in CA.

This is amusing to me...we here in Connecticut (and I speak for 99% of everyone I know in CT) take our Lobster Rolls with butter! Preferably on a toasted hotdog bun. In my family we have the big reds almost weekly in the summer and they get picked thoroughly! Lobster rolls are a frequent treat from a fav lobster shack called Lobster Landing" in Clinton but there are plenty of other places to choose from. There's nothing more fun, more social, (and delicious) than a huge tray of lobster, corn on the cob, red tater, etc. to my family. Here's a tip: freeze shells til trash day to avoid stinky barrels (or some use them for lobster broth-I don't bother).

Shrimp: I love shrimp as a salad on buttery french croissants because its sorta lobster-like but unfortunately haven't been able to find decent shrimp this year. Wherever its sourced from is very tasteless.

Does anyone else find this year's shrimp lacking in texture & flavor?

The East Coast is not the only place to find top-split buns. A brand called Betty sells them in a 16pk here in Canada. And Dempster's has a 10pk as well (at least in Canada). Shrimp roll, lobster roll, crab roll... put seafood, sharp crunchy veggies, and a mayo based sauce in a bun and I'm happy ^_^

Krogers carries the rolls. They call them coney rolls/buns. I'm in Ohio, so I don't know how far west this phenomenon reaches. I think it's Ralph's in California. Try them. (Owned by the same corporation)

Michigan also has top split buns. Just had them on Father's Day. Apparently they are becoming popular. No longer just a East Coast thing

White bread? Hot dog buns? Come on folks! Horrible!

I just bought some of these split top buns last week for the kids skin on all beef hot dogs.....Pepperidge Farm. In St. Paul, MN. How would you make these with just butter? My kids don't like mayo and one doesn't like ketchup.

@Colleen: My local lobster shack puts 4 ozs lobst meat in a net bag and dunks it in steaming hot water for a few seconds, empties onto toasted bun and ladles melted butter over top. At home we just put bun in frying pan with butter to toast it, remove it, add cooked leftover lobster (ha!) in frying pan with butter, in a few seconds its ready for the bun!

@Lois - I am not advocating eating white hot dog buns every day. I was trying to recreate the sandwich. I don't think hot dog buns are healthy.

@Colleen - melt maybe 2 tablespoons butter and skip the mayo and ketchup. Bet that would be INCREDIBLE!

Thanks for your comments and questions!!

I'm from Maine and there's nothing like a lobster roll. We call a shrimp roll a shrimp boat and there is NO comparison with lobster. If the restaurant you go to is a reputable one I won't worry about under cooked seafood or mayonnaise left in the sun. Lobster is low in calories and fat so enjoy. Only the price can sometimes stop me from enjoying it.

I'm originally from Maine and I love lobster rolls. Usually with butter and lettuce on a grilled hot dog roll. Currently, I live in Ohio and Kroger sells the split top hot dog buns known as Coney rolls. I really miss a Maine lobster roll!!!!

Colleen -- For a buttery lobster roll, not mayo, have a toasted roll ready and in a sauce pan melt 1-3 tablespoons (depending on amount of lobster meat) butter; put in the cooked, shelled lobster meat, stir gently until meat is heated through; place in toasted roll. Delicious! Serve with homemade cole slaw -- a summer meal!

I live in N.E. and most large supermarkets will cook their live lobsters for you while you shop - no charge. It takes about 15 minutes while you finish your grocery shopping. Bring them home, and try not to eat the delicious meat while you shell them for the rolls.

And, why the fuss, ladies, regarding N.E. hot dog rolls? Just turn the other ones on their sides and they, too, will be open at the top! (sturdy sides can be a benefit.)

I have made something similar to this recipe.....I use imitation crab legs, celery, onion, salad dressing...add to Lite English Muffins and top with cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts.

I sooooo love lobster, shrimp, and crab. However I live in Arizona now (formally in Florida) so I can't get blue crab live :( but I can find lobster live and frozen shrimp to work with. I prefer to pick it from the shell. Mayo seems odd to me but bring on the old bay or the zaterans! YUM!

Oh yeah we have these in San Diego. They also do Crab. We just had a Cajun celebration and they did their version of a Lobster roll only they used Crawdaddies (Crawfish). In Louisiana it's a PO-Boy, but the cook said it wasn't a PO-BOY because the bread is different and so was the chosen spices were crafted for a more Lobster roll taste. I had no idea how in-fact he was. I've had so many different type of Lobster Roll inspired sandwiches, I get excited every time. I'm like, "Bring it on!" Especially in the summer months cold flavorful sandwiches are the best! When I make Lobster rolls. I just use rolls. I'm not going to fret over the bread. Sometimes I can find it and sometimes I can't the roll is still delicious. Now I don't mean to sound snarky, but it's gonna come off that way, but if you don't eat white bread, then common sense tells you not to buy white bread. Just because Snack Girl has something in her recipe doesn't mean you stick to that recipe. Do your own thing. make it your way. For example I don't like onions or scallions, so I'm leaving it out. Problem solved. I probably won't use the ketchup either. My friend Cynthia is about to make us some with gluten free bread that she found at a gluten free bakery that we have in San Diego, so that will be interesting.

BarbL4 I'm totally with you about the Shrimp this year.

Yeah, a shellfish allergy has robbed me of my shrimp feasting days. But, I thought I had read Tilapia should be avoided because of the way it raised. I stick with wild caught salmon when i have fish.

For shellfish-allergic folks, Has anyone tried striped bass? I find it to be succulent and when done slowly in butter on stovetop is pretty-near heaven, dare I say, almost as good as lobster! :) Haven't tried it on a bun but I bet It'd be pretty darned good.

(while cooking I cover it with thin-sliced lemon with lid on FYI)

I love lobster rolls! I've never gotten sick off one because they are made to order (they don't sit around so you don't have to worry about that mayo).

BarbL - I agree, striped bass is delicious. I like to cook it with Cajun spice rub pressed into both sides of the steak; place in a hot cast iron skillet with a little bit of canola oil; heavily sear on both sides, place a cover on it and put on lower heat for about 3 minutes. Delicious!

When my husband manages to catch this fish when they are 'running' in the Cape Cod area its a real treat.

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