This ‘Poor Man’s Lobster Roll’ Does not Contain Lobster but Does a Damn Good Job of Filling You Up

February 2, 2020

When I think about lobster rolls (especially this summer-time), my mind instantly gets sucked into Governor’s Island, New York, where picnic grounds lay the foundation for jazz music festivals, long walks and biking paths, and best of them all, food trucks! I remember Luke’s Lobster too, which makes theirs with an gigantic portion of pure lobster meat, forced inside a buttered roll too small for its size. It’s magic, I tell you.

Poor Man's Lobster Roll1

Right now in Metro Manila, we’ve tried Bun Appetit’s version, which is pretty filling but the price tag may be a bit too steep. With lobster being premium seafood here in Metro Manila, who could contest, though? So today on, we’re making a Poor Man’s ‘Lobster’ Roll, that doesn’t really use lobster (We used shrimp, but if you have some leftover lobster, then why not!), but we topped it with some ingredients to make it have that nice, creamy and lemony kick without having you splurge too much just to have legit lobster.

Poor Man's Lobster Roll2

Though it can’t beat the real thing, this is delicious on its own and very much satisfying especially with the ebiko topping. Hey, it’s no legit Lobster Roll, but it does the job pretty well.

Poor Man’s Lobster Roll

Total Time: 25 mins
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: ‘Lobster’ Roll

  • 1-2 tbsp margarine
  • 4 hotdog buns
  • 2 cups shrimp, boiled & dried
  • 2 tbsp minced shallots or white onion
  • 1 tbsp spring onion
  • 1/3 cup sandwich spread (store bought or homemade; recipe for homemade sandwich spread below)
  • ebiko, for topping

Ingredients: Homemade Sandwich Spread (just combine everything)

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • juice of 2 calamansi
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp pickle relish

Procedure: Lobster Roll

  1. In a bowl, combine shrimp, shallots, spring onion and sandwich spread. Store in the chiller until ready to use.
  2. Spread margarine on the inside of hotdog bun, then toast in an oven toaster.
  3. Fill with the shrimp mixture then top with ebiko. Serve.
Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

10 comments in this post SHOW

10 responses to “This ‘Poor Man’s Lobster Roll’ Does not Contain Lobster but Does a Damn Good Job of Filling You Up”

  1. Marie says:

    So why not just call it shrimp roll?

  2. KK says:

    Re comment below on shrimp roll – has the toughest, most demanding and also sometimes most idiotic readers.

    If she wants to call it that way, it’s her call. She thought of it 🙂

    • Marie says:

      I was confused okay. I was asking why she couldn’t call it shrimp roll because there wasn’t any lobster AT ALL. Sorry ikaw na ang nakakaintindi sa lahat ng bagay sa mundo. Talino mo eh.

      • Chenzie says:

        KK defending something doesn’t mean calling someone else an idiot. To Marie, they just call it that because most people in the Philippines cannot afford lobster so pag poor ka daw hipon na lang gamitin mo para feeling mayaman ka din eventhough shrimps in itself are pretty good and doesn’t have to take the place of lobster. Peace!

  3. Katrina says:

    Mikka, was Luke’s really good? I read bad reviews, so passed on it and went to Pearl Oyster Bar instead.

    I curacha expensive? Probably not as expensive as lobster, no? That would be another good crustacean to use.

  4. Rayna Vihuela says:

    it’s called a “poor man’s lobster roll” because it’s made in the same style as you would a lobster roll, but sans the lobster. hope that clears everything up.

    this looks delicious and i’m hungry.

  5. Ferdinand Fernando says:

    brilliant! i’m going to make this….

  6. Benjamin Canapi says:

    Not to be a wet blanket about this, but this is the richest “Poor Man’s sandwich” I have ever seen. I love it, nonetheless.

    And if any of you actually have leftover lobster in your ref, I really want to be your friend.

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