My family goes to Maine annually for vacation. This tradition began when my parents were children. Generally, I am not a big lobster fan. I honestly think lobster is overrated and lacks the flavour of other crustaceans, such as crab. However, I always find myself craving this one lobster roll that is unlike any other, the lobster roll from Eventide Oyster Company (they make a gluten free version so celiacs can enjoy). You can know that if I am craving a lobster roll, it is one delectable lobster roll. The lobster is gently warmed in a brown butter and lemon vinaigrette and nestled into a Chinese steam bun (Mantou)-inspired hot dog bun.
I was unable to go to Maine this year, so I figured: “why not try to make Eventide’s lobster roll at home?” So I began the journey of making a gluten-free Mantou-esque hot dog bun and the lobster salad that I cannot get out of my brain. While I was at it, since I had plenty of buns remaining, I also made my personal favourite dish from Maine, a crab roll.
Steam bun-inspired hot dog buns (adapted from Great British Chefs):
- 7g rapid-rise/instant yeast
- 2 tablespoon warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 250ml skim milk (if lactose intolerant, use lactose-free milk)
- 30g unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 65g sugar
- 175g corn flour
- 85g potato flour
- 90g glutinous rice flour
- 100g white rice flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
Lobster salad (adapted from Yankee magazine, makes 4 rolls):
- 400g lobster meat
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons non-fat milk powder
- 2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Chopped chives
Crab salad (makes 4 rolls):
- 400g crab meat
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 dill pickle (diced)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- ½ tablespoon pickle juice
Steam bun-inspired hot dog buns:
- In a small bowl, mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and warm water. Leave it on the side to bubble away.
- Warm milk and butter in a pan over low heat until butter has melted. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool until warm. It is very important to cool this mixture because if it is too hot when you add it to the yeast, the yeast will be killed.
- In a large bowl, add salt, remaining sugar, corn flour, potato flour, glutinous rice flour, white rice flour, and baking powder. Mix until well combined.
- Add foaming yeast and milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Use hands to knead dough in bowl until dough holds together well and does not stick to your fingers.
- Leave dough in the warmest area of your kitchen to proof for at least one hour or until doubled in size.
- Prepare steamer.
- Divide dough into orange-sized balls
- Take these balls of dough and shape into hot dog bun shapes.
- Place these buns on parchment paper and lower into steamer. Steam for about 40 minutes or until texture resembles that of a steam bun. The smaller the rolls, the less time you will need to steam them.
- Over medium heat, melt butter in a pan.
- Once butter melted, add non-fat milk powder.
- Stirring constantly, allow milk solids to brown. Be careful not to burn the butter. Once butter is well browned and nutty in flavour, it will very easily become burnt and bitter.
- Remove browned butter from heat and stir in salt and lemon juice.
- In a frying pan over medium heat, combine lobster meat and brown butter vinaigrette and heat until gently warmed.
- Slice the hot dog bun and stuff lobster meat mixture into middle.
- Garnish with chopped chives.
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix.
- Slice the hot dog bun and stuff crab meat mixture into middle.