Kitchn Love Letters

Luke’s Lobster and Omsom Are Making a New Spicy Mala Lobster Roll — And It’s Everything I’ve Been Waiting For

published May 13, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Luke's Lobster Omsom Lobster Roll
Credit: Justine Lee

Because I grew up living and vacationing in and around the New England area, I made any excuse to eat lobster rolls. Going to the beach? It’s a no-brainer: lobster rolls. It’s too hot and there’s no food in the fridge? Cool, let’s get lobster rolls. We’re going shopping at the mall that’s only 10 minutes away from Lobster Landing? You get the point. 

This dish, for me, has always been the platonic ideal of summer. Juicy seafood! Crispy buttered bread! That said, when it comes to food I would eat during AAPI Heritage Month, I can’t say lobster rolls naturally make the list. Because on a monumental month that honors the nuances of the Asian diaspora, I feel like it’s right to loudly and proudly eat my weight in kimbap, gyudon, red bean buns, and all the food I once was ashamed to eat outside the walls of my house or an Asian restaurant. But thanks to Omsom’s new collaboration with Luke’s Lobster, I can enjoy my lobster rolls and celebrate my Asian American culture, too. 

Credit: Justine Lee

Luke’s Lobster Omsom Spicy Mala Lobster Roll

Omsom and Luke’s Lobster call their Spicy Mala Lobster Roll “a Sichuan take on the beloved New England classic.” I got to sample the roll earlier this month and, let me tell you, it lives up to that description. The driving force behind the sandwich’s magic is Omsom’s Chinese Mala sauce, a deep blend of Sichuan peppercorns and dried red chilis, which gets worked into Kewpie mayo before it’s spread inside the toasted bun and dolloped on top of Luke’s sustainably sourced lobster meat.

If you’ve never made a lobster roll at home before, don’t worry: This kit comes with everything you need including four flash-frozen lobster tails, one packet or Omsom’s Chinese Mala sauce, and an easy-to-follow recipe card. That’s enough to make two to four servings.

But how does it taste? The Spicy Mala-infused mayo is such a lovely, warming foil to the fresh lobster chunks and certainly a joy to eat in a squishy New England-style bun. The lobster rolls of my youth were drenched in melted butter, but that isn’t the case here — and yet, I didn’t miss it one bit. The Spicy Mala sauce brings a distinct nutty, warming spice (that’s not too spicy!) flavor akin to what I found in seafood hotpots of yore, delivering a nostalgia of its own. A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and chives on top add a flavorful crunch. 

While this lobster roll delivers in celebrating the ingredients emblematic of Asian and New England cuisine, it further makes good in the charity department. All throughout May, if you order a Spicy Mala Lobster Roll at any Luke’s Lobster location or purchase the Omsom Lobster Tail Pack on the company’s website, the teams will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Immigrant History Initiative. This nonprofit organization, founded by two Asian American women, is on a mission to champion the narratives and history of various AAPI communities to “educate, empower, and build solidarity and empathy for multiple generations of immigrant communities.” If you can’t make it to Luke’s Lobster this month, the roll will be available until early November. 

As I’m continuously finding out, there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate your Asian American identity; the same holds true for how we choose to celebrate AAPI heritage month. And if anyone tells you that lobster rolls aren’t fit for the occasion, nudge them towards the direction of this delicious Spicy Mala Lobster Roll. Better yet, why not feast on lobster rolls with them? Coming together to bridge our so-called differences is what food — and this very special collaboration — is all about.

Have you tried this lobster roll kit? Tell us in the comments below.