Copycat Friendly's Lobster Roll

Copycat Friendly's Lobster Roll


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This recipe features warm lobster tossed in melted tarragon-lemon butter. These lobster rolls are truly a treat, and though they make take a little more work than a drive-thru, they’re completely worth it!

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Time needed

45 min preparation + 20 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

4 servings


  • For the Lobster Filling:
  • 1 T. salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 (1-1/2 lb.) whole live lobsters
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 bay leaf
  • 1 C. water, plus more for steaming the lobsters
  • 6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 T. finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • black pepper
  • For the Buns:
  • 2 T. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 top-split hot dog buns

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Fill a large pot with a tight fitting lid with 1 inch of water and stir in the measured salt. Add a steamer rack to the pot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lobsters, head first, to the pot, cover, and return the water to a full boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a gentle boil 14 minutes until the lobsters are bright red. Remove the lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Using your hands, twist and separate the tail from the body. Twist and remove both of the claws where they meet the lobster body. Set the claws aside. Discard the head and torso. Starting with the tail, remove the small, wispy flippers on the underside of the shell. Using a fork, pierce the exposed tail meat and slowly twist and pull it out of the shell in one piece. Rinse any white debris off of the tail meat and set it aside on a cutting board. Reserve the shell of the tail. Twist the claws and separate them from the legs. Set the legs aside. Gently wiggle and pull the smaller part of the pincer shell off each claw. Using a seafood cracker, gently crack the claws, remove the meat, and set it aside on the cutting board. Crack the legs, remove the meat, and set it aside on the cutting board. Reserve the shells from the claws and the legs. Repeat with second lobster. Check the meat for any cartilage or shell and discard it. Coarsely chop the reserved meat and place it in a medium bowl. Place the reserved lobster shells, peppercorns, bay leaf, and measured water in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to 1 T. Discard the large shells and strain the lobster broth through a fine-mesh strainer set over a small saucepan. Place the small saucepan with the lobster broth over medium-low heat and whisk in one piece of the butter at a time until all of the butter is incorporated. Add the tarragon and 1 1/2 tsp. of the lemon juice and stir to combine. Fold in the reserved lobster meat and cook until just heated through. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat and set aside. Spread the butter on the outside of the buns. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Place the buns in the pan butter-side down and toast until golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Flip and toast the second side until golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Divide the warm lobster filling among the buns and serve immediately.

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