Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich

Recently returned from a Louisiana trip where he enjoyed many a po boy, Hank put these together for us for lunch. So good! ~Elise

What’s not to love about the classic Louisiana po boy sandwich? Most are dead simple, and rely heavily on high-quality ingredients: Super-fresh, local seafood, Creole tomatoes, homemade remoulade sauce, and surpassing bread.

Po boy sandwiches are typically either seafood or roast beef (although I had a roast duck po boy near Grand Isle, Louisiana recently), and the best ones use remoulade, a Cajun version of the classic French mayo-mustard sauce.

But the bread is the real star in a po boy. Do your utmost to find really good bread, with a crackling crust and soft interior. Ideally you would use a French sandwich loaf, like a baguette, but wider and about a foot long. Without good bread, a po boy is pretty po’.

Shrimp po boys are served everywhere in Louisiana, but you can also do the same things with crawfish tails, catfish fillets or oysters—all are common in the Sportsman’s Paradise. Most are fried, but I’ve seen grilled seafood occasionally.

A word on the peanut oil: It is a very common cooking oil in Louisiana, and adds a flavor that will make your shrimp taste more of the Bayou. Personally, if I could not get peanut oil, I’d use lard. But that’s just me. Any vegetable oil will work just fine.

Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 4 large sandwiches.

If you cant get peanut oil, use any other vegetable oil or lard. And if you don't feel like making remoulade, smear the top of the bread with mayo and the bottom with mustard.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and with tails removed
  • 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2-3 tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 small French sandwich rolls

Remoulade

  • 1/4 cup mustard, preferably Creole mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups mayo
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice or vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Crystal, Tabasco, etc)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced and smashed
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

Method

1 If you are making your own remoulade, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside for 30 minutes or so; you don't have to wait that long, but the sauce will be better over time.

2 Pour enough peanut oil in a large frying pan to come up about 1/4 inch, and set the pan over medium-high heat until a small amount of flour sizzles immediately when you drop some in.

shrimp-po-boy-1.jpgshrimp-po-boy-2.jpg

3 Mix the cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasoning and salt in a large bowl. Working with a few at a time, dredge the shrimp in the egg, then in the cornmeal-flour mixture. Shake off any excess and fry until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Set the fried shrimp aside on paper towels to drain.

4 To assemble the sandwich, slice the sandwich loaves almost all the way through and smear remoulade on both the top and bottom. Lay down a layer of shredded lettuce on the bottom of the sandwich, then arrange the shrimp on top. Lay 3-4 slices of tomato on the shrimp and press the top of the bread down on the bottom, compressing the sandwich a little. Serve at once with hot sauce and a beer.

Links:

Grilled Shrimp Po Boy - from Ezra Pound Cake
Oyster Po Boy Sandwich - from Seduction Meals
Catfish Po Boy - from Cast Sugar

37 Comments

  1. Michele

    Your posts are so inspirational – and oh, so timely. We are at the beach this week and happen to have all the ingredients listed above (may have to improvise a little on the bread). Guess what we will be having today…
    xoxo michele

  2. Don

    Hi Elise and Hank,

    I am a long time reader but I am just now getting around to commenting. Firstly, thank you for saving dinner and parties soooo many times for me, my wife and I have loved just about every recipe we have tried so far.

    One note on the po boys. Being a Cajun I can say that you have not put enough importance on the French bread that is used. It will absolutely will make or break the sandwich! It must be of the highest quality you can find and as fresh as can be had.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Thanks, Don! And I absolutely agree about the bread. We tried so hard to find the perfect bread for this sandwich, and just could get that perfect French style sandwich bread. What we used was good, but not perfect. C’est la vie. ~Hank

  3. Mandy

    My husband and I were JUST talking about a New Orleans trip we want to plan for later this year. Oh, the food! I do agree that a homemade remoulade sauce is key. Great post!

  4. Cajun Chef Ryan

    Aieeeee!!!!

    Love me some good ole shrimp po-boys! These look great with the cornmeal breading, but I like pickles on mine too! And got to have a lot of Crystal hot sauce on the shrimps!

    Bon appetit!
    CCR
    =:~)

  5. Jenni

    It is like you were reading my mind! I have been craving one of these for days. Thank you for the recipe. It looks delicious!

  6. pratfall

    Hank, I think your post yesterday mentioned you could use straight oil instead of mayo for the remoulade? My wife has an egg allergy, so I’m thinking I’d try using just oil in place of the eggs for the remoulade and the dredge. Any hints on this?

    Thanks!

    I’d look up oil-based remoulade recipes for the exact proportions – I only make mine with mayo, so I have no special insight there. As for the dredge, Eggs give a lot of structure to the batter, but you can dip the shrimp in flour, then milk, then breadcrumbs and it will work fine. ~Hank

  7. Traci

    I CANNOT wait to try this. I guess a clam po boy would work the same way?

    Oooh! Clam Po Boy? Cool idea. Can you report back to us how it went? ~Hank

  8. Silla

    pratfall: there are eggless mayos out there like Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart or Nayonaise by NaSoya (Vegenaise is better IMO!) As for the dredge, maybe you can try EnerG egg replacer. Its a potato starch and tapioca powder that you mix with water. It says its made for baking, but maybe it can be used here. They can both be found in health food type stores like Whole Foods or Huckleberry’s. Hope this helps!

  9. Karena

    You are amazing! I LOVE your site! I can not wait to try all your yummy creations:)
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    KarenaCrochet

  10. Deana @CookTJ

    Thanks Hank – great recipe! My husband is from Mississippi, so we always fly into New Orleans and have enjoyed many a Po Boy in the area. Actually the best one was probably on a drive down to the Florida panhandle. Always with shredded lettuce, tomato, and pickle slices. I’m laughing that I’ve never thought to make them myself – it’s just something we have when we’re down there. Now that I see your post, I think I’ll surprise him.
    You hit on one very important point. Slice the bread “almost” all the way through – When it’s connected along one side, it’s so much easier to eat, with all the fillings staying contained.
    Hard to find amazing French bread, but unless there’s a great bakery nearby, I think that parbaked loaves (like from TJ’s or wherever else) come out pretty good.

  11. Angie

    So good french bread is another one of those things almost impossible to get outside of Louisiana? That settles it, I’m never moving away.

    I think most po’boys I’ve had were dressed with mayo rather than remoulade, but that sounds really tasty!

  12. S.

    My friends would defitely enjoy this, I can’t wait to make it for them. Thanks for the recipe. Love that sauce!!!!

  13. fatty

    You mention Creole mustard in the recipe – I guarantee I would not be able to find this in the land down under. What would be an acceptable substitute?

    A good Dijon mustard is pretty close. ~Hank

  14. Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    I can’t tell you how much I miss these incredibly delicious sandwiches. They may have originated in New Orleans but they are served all down the southern coastline to the panhandle of FL. Fabulous fresh gulf seafood! I might have to get out the skillet!

  15. Jo

    I see there have already been a lot of bread comments, but let me add this question: Could you provide a good, fool-proof recipe to bake your own French bread? We moved away from NOLA 8 years ago and I’ve learned to cook a lot of the things I miss myself, but I can not find anything that is even close to good french bread. (I also miss oysters, but hey, what can you do?)

    Sorry, I am not a great baker. If I manage to recreate a great French sandwich loaf, you can bet I will post it, though. ~Hank

  16. Miata

    Can’t wait to give this a try. This brings back lots of memories from college. Believe it or not my favorite po boy sandwich came from a gas station not to far from campus. The bread and shrimp were always amazing. I really miss my second home.

  17. Siya

    There’s a cafe here (South Louisiana) that makes their po-boys with Andouille sausage. Just another great variation on the classic!

  18. Katy Belle

    Awesome! I lived in LA for a few years and I miss a good Po Boy! I like your points about the bread and the fresh ingredients. With that in mind, I just might give it a try!
    I love your sight. Have never gone wrong with any of your recipes…except tapioca pudding and that was ME, not you! I used splenda…soaked my tapioca too long and cooked it too much! I will try again ;-)

  19. Monica

    We’ve been watching back-to-back episodes of Treme and are almost through Season 2. I’ve lost count of how many times they’ve eaten Po Boys in that show. I’m going to surprise my husband with these. Perfect timing and they look delish.

  20. Brian

    Now I want one! My family makes the most delicious fried oysters, I think I’ll twist their arms and we’ll all have oyster po’boys. But Hank, I’m wondering-do you think a bolillo roll might work as a substitute for the french roll?

  21. Tempy

    Nice recipe! Here in LA state sea food and bar be q tend to rule the roost, so to speak. I want to try this with craw-fish instead, during the season. Can’t wait.

  22. Nikki

    I just want to add that po’ boys can have anything from fried and boiled seafood to bologna, gravy, pickled mirlitons and potato salad can be put on them. My grandfather was from New Orleans and he would make po’ boys with all kinds of combinations of food.

  23. Sam Knight

    Can this sandwich be frozen? I like to cook ahead. Thanks.

    No. You can’t freeze it. Sorry. ~Hank

  24. wildbill

    Instead of lettuce and tomatoes, I’m going to use fried jalapeno slices to dress up my shrimp po boy.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.