I’ve never actually had a lobster roll, but saw plenty of them during our trips up to Ogunquit, Maine a few years ago. We lived only an hour away from there at that time, so it was always easy to make our way up from Boston.
We would always start with a boat tour in Perkins Cove, opting out of the one tour that caught lobsters as part of it, and settled into a seat with a cold beer, eager to see the coastline and feel the cold New England breeze once the boat started moving.
So this “lobster” roll didn’t didn’t really conjure up any New England food memories, but it did remind me how fun and cool recreating vegan seafood really is. Hearts of palm is also a great crab, tuna and cod/whitefish replacement, so why not try it in a traditional application like a lobster roll? I am not sure how it compares, but it’s pretty tasty!
The key here is warming and toasting up a hot dog with a little vegan butter (do this in a hot cast-iron pan if you’ve got one). Then spoon the chilled hearts of palm mixture and serve immediately. The butter makes the edges of the bun crispy while the vegan mayo adds another layer of richness that’s perfectly balanced out by the clean blend of dried and fresh herbs.
The capers give a little pop of salt and the celery and red onion adds a fresh, clean crunch. Serve with a sprinkle of salt and a squirt of lemon before you take a bite!
Vegan Lobster Roll
Yield 4 sandwiches
The "lobster" roll uses hearts of palm as a stand-in for lobster for a cruelty-free and delicious New England favorite!
for the "lobster"
- 2, 14.1-oz. can of hearts of palm, coarsely chopped, rinsed and soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1 stalk celery, mandolined or finely sliced
- 2 TB minced red onion
- 2 tsp capers
- 4 hot dog buns
- 2-4 TB vegan butter, melted
- 1 TB fresh chives, minced
- 1 TB fresh dill, minced
- lemon wedges
To prepare the "lobster"
- Drain the hearts of palm, taking care not to crush or mush them.
- Combine the next 6 dried spices in a small bowl, then season the drained hearts of palm, tossing to coat evenly.
- Place into an air fryer set at 400 for 10-12 minutes, giving them a shake once or twice and checking them towards the end to ensure they don't brown.
- If you don't have an air fryer, preheat your oven to 400 and place the seasoned hearts of palm on a silpat-lined baking sheet for 20-30 minutes. stirring two or three times. They are done when they show the first signs of a slight golden color around the edges. Don't let them brown all over.
- Transfer the hearts of palm to a bowl and toss gently with the remaining 4 ingredients and place into the refrigerator to chill completely. Or, you can also serve it while still warm.
- When ready to serve, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of a hot dog bun with the butter and toast face down until it's nice and golden.
- Spoon the desired amount of hearts of palm into the toasted buns and garnish with the fresh chives and dill. Serve with lemon wedges and an extra sprinkle of salt, if desired.