“That’s the way we roll” Shrimp Rolls

Easy Shrimp Rolls
Easy Shrimp Rolls

A family that we know very well visited the East Coast this last month.  They took lots of pictures of their trip which we enjoyed seeing on Facebook.  They did make a stop in Maine and began showing photos of lobster rolls.  I couldn’t get my mind off lobster rolls (especially after seeing so many pictures), so I thought we should make them with our own spin.

However, fresh lobster is almost impossible to find.  I’ve always been told that crab and lobster are best in months with an “R” in it.  No “R” in May, June, July or August.  Doesn’t seem quite fair.  And, because I’m in Lake Tahoe during July (the busiest month of the year), I couldn’t even find frozen lobster meat.

But I was able to find fresh shrimp.  So…why not make shrimp rolls.  It’s a great summer sandwich or filling for a lettuce wrap, for those not eating wheat or other grains.  The bonus was, my youngest son and his friends visited us, bought food for themselves and left the remains, which included some delicious deli bread and butter pickles and some hot dog buns.  Perfect!

Speaking of being in Lake Tahoe, I haven’t spent as much time here as I would have liked because of the new house we moved into and trying to get our other house on the market. But, Obie T. Dogg and I finally were able to get away around the 4th of July.  Yes!Chef! was also able to come up for a few days, even though he had just returned from 10 days in Texas and had lots of work.

I’m sure many people have heard that California is going thru a drought.  The lake is quite low and it is generally very dry in the area, which causes us all to worry about fire.  One other thing is the bears are much more visible than ever before because they are struggling to find food. There is one particular young bear who is quite bold about wandering around the neighborhood and has also learned to open car doors (unlocked) to get any food that might be inside.  We’ve been lucky so far and he hasn’t really bothered us other than using our back yard as a way to get around the neighborhood.

Brown Bear in our back yard
Black Bear in our back yard

This is admittedly a very bad picture (I’m a little ashamed), but I grabbed my camera at the last minute and didn’t check my settings, so it is what it is.  He is a young bear, but you can also see that he is pretty thin.

Obie and I take a walk every morning and we spent the first several days that we were up here walking at the lake.

Obie T. wades around the lake, but never swims
Obie T. wades around the lake, but never swims

Even though we are in a drought, the Lake Tahoe area is where my heart is and I find beauty in everything and every condition.

Mt. Tallac
Mt. Tallac

If you’ve been to South Lake Tahoe, Mt. Tallac is a local landmark.  The snow forms a cross on the mountain, and most years the snow lasts thru July before it disappears.  I’ve heard that we should expect an El Nino winter season this year, which usually brings an abundance of water.  I’m hoping this is true, but meanwhile I still enjoy almost everything I see.

Flowers along a walk
Flowers along a walk at The Visitor’s Center in South Lake Tahoe
Not a chipmunk.  Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel
Not a chipmunk. Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel

Although there are chipmunks in the area (they have a black mask across their face), the above picture is of a very common Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel, which is about the same size and coloring as the chipmunk.

Hand painted signs identifying flowers at Tallac Historic Site
Hand painted signs identifying flowers at Tallac Historic Site

We love to walk thru the gardens at The Baldwin and Pope Estates at the Tallac Historic Site.  They have wonderful hand-painted signs identifying the flowers.

Pinecone heart
Pinecone heart

And then, Obie and I saw this at Kiva Beach.  Someone had taken the time to form the pinecones into a heart.  Very charming.

Hopefully we will see more water in the storms this year.

I do think these shrimp rolls would work well for an evening picnic on the beach.  Just make sure to pack it in ice and don’t leave it out to get warm due to the mayo.

Shrimp Rolls with deli pickles
Shrimp Rolls with deli pickles

Looks good, right? And, it’s very easy.  The hardest part was grilling the hot dog bun.  As you can see, mine got a little toastier than I would have liked, but it was still quite tasty, crunchy and perfect with the shrimp filling.

Here’s a close-up of the filling.

shrimp, celery, scallions, mayo
shrimp, celery, scallions, mayo

Tender fresh or frozen shrimp mixed lightly with a few ingredients help make the shrimp shine.  We stuck pretty closely with traditional lobster roll recipes because why mess with success.

Here’s the recipe:

Easy Shrimp Rolls

Serves 4 people


  • 1.5 pounds frozen or fresh shrimp (easiest to use frozen, cooked shrimp…but you can make it fresh, too.)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 inner stalks of celery, including leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh, chopped dill or tarragon or parsley (whichever herb you like best.)
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 hot dog buns, split
  • deli bought pickles as garnish, if you like


  1. Prepare shrimp.  If using fresh raw shrimp (or fresh frozen raw shrimp), clean and remove shells.  Cook according to these directions:  Cooking fresh raw shrimp. If using cooked shrimp, remove the shells and tail.  Clean if necessary.
  2. Chop shrimp into bite-size chunks.
  3. Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, chopped celery, fresh herbs, all but 1 tbsp. chopped scallion and salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour over shrimp and thoroughly mix.  Place in refrigerator so that the flavors can blend and get to know each other.
  4. Lightly butter insides of hot dog buns.
  5. We used a panini grill pan to toast the insides of the bun.  We also used the panini presser to flatten the bun.  This allowed the bun to get a little crispy and nicely flattened.  You can also toast the buns, or briefly place on the grill.  You just want the buns to get a little toasty.
  6. Allow buns to cool and spoon shrimp filling into the buns.  Sprinkle remaining 1 Tbsp. scallion over top.
  7. Place on a plate and add the pickles on the side.
  8. Be sure to add lots of napkins.
Shrimp Roll Lettuce Wraps for Gluten Free/Low Carb
Shrimp Roll Lettuce Wraps for Gluten Free/Low Carb

And because Yes!Chef! and I have gone Low Carb, we made lettuce wrap shrimp rolls.  Layer a couple of Butter Lettuce leaves in a bowl or plate, add the shrimp mixture and sprinkle with the chopped scallion and you will enjoy just as much as the shrimp rolls with bread.

Add some watermelon slices and you have a complete, easy summer meal.


Shrimp rolls with Watermelon
Shrimp rolls with Watermelon


Fresh, summer Shrimp Roll Lettuce Wraps with Watermelon
Fresh, summer Shrimp Roll Lettuce Wraps with Watermelon

I cut up an avocado and added it to the top and then added a squeeze of lemon.


Even Obie was impressed with this sunset
Even Obie was impressed with this sunset


Published by

Karen Schmautz


7 thoughts on ““That’s the way we roll” Shrimp Rolls

    1. Thank you. I made a slight mistake in identifying the bear, we only have Black Bears (although they range in color from blond to cinnamon to brown to black). The only Brown bears are Grizzlies, and we don’t have them here in the Sierras, thankfully. Grizzlies are much more aggressive than Black Bears. But, this guy is quite thin, although he is young. I’ve seen other fully grown bears who are much more beefy, although they are becoming less and less afraid of humans due to the lack of food. Somebody posted a picture of a bear getting into somebody’s picnic lunch while they were on the beach here in Tahoe in broad daylight. Not a good thing.

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