Here to celebrate Mardi Gras is our favorite sandwich of all… Shrimp Po’ Boy!
Perfectly seasoned, crispy fried shrimp are absolutely piled high on French bread, along with fresh veggies and tangy remoulade sauce.
It’s a New Orleans classic that can be found in restaurants all over the Big Easy, and now you can make this incredible sandwich right in your own kitchen…
There’s just something special about the Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana. From simple Red Beans and Rice to more elaborate dishes like Grillades and Grits, all of their food is extra delicious.
On our trip to New Orleans last year, we sampled tons of great foods, many of which have since found their way onto GypsyPlate.
But the one thing our eyes drifted to the most on menus was the famous shrimp po’ boy.
What is a Po’ Boy?
A po’ boy is a popular sandwich from Louisiana served on New Orleans French bread.
Although the most well known variations are filled with fried seafood, they can also feature other meats such as roast beef or Cochon de Lait. What makes a po’ boy a po’ boy isn’t the filling, but the bread.
They were first created by a restaurant in 1929, who gave them away free to striking railway workers. So the story goes, the restaurant workers referred to an incoming diner as “another poor boy”.
Nowadays, the po’ boy, most commonly the fried shrimp variation, has spread all over the coastal southeast.
Check out our What to Eat in New Orleans guide!
The Best Shrimp for Po’ Boys
They’re proud of their Gulf shrimp in Louisiana, and for good reason. If you can find them in your seafood market, they are the best bet. Otherwise, go for any wild caught shrimp over farm raised, they taste much better.
We prefer 21/25 shrimp for this sandwich. The size refers to the number of shrimp per pound, in this case 21-25.
You want to make sure the shrimp are peeled and deveined, with tails removed, before frying.
- Wet shrimp dredge – Buttermilk and hot sauce.
- Dry shrimp dredge – Flour, cornmeal, Creole seasoning, salt.
- Oil – For frying.
- Bread – Traditional New Orleans French bread has a crisp shell and a soft and fluffy interior. In it’s absence, use a similar French bread.
- Remoulade sauce – Check out our Remoulade Sauce post for two variations, or see recipe card for the full list of ingredients for mayonnaise based remoulade. In a pinch, you can just use good quality mayo.
- Fixings – Lettuce and tomato, lemons for juice.
Shrimp Po’ Boy Recipe
1. Make the remoulade sauce: Mix together all sauce ingredients. Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use.
2. Fry the shrimp: Mix together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl, and on a plate mix the flour, cornmeal, 2 tsp of the Creole seasoning, and 1 tsp of salt. Heat oil, 1 inch in depth, to 350°F in an electric skillet, or on stovetop measuring the temperature of the oil with an instant read thermometer.
Season the shrimp with the remaining Creole seasoning and salt, then dredge them in the wet mix, followed by the dry mix. Fry the shrimp until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes total, turning once. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel lined plate to drain.
3. Assemble po’ boy: Slice the bread almost all the way through, then fold flat. Slather remoulade sauce on both sides. Pile high with shrimp, and give them a good squeeze of lemon juice. Add on tomato and lettuce, then close the sandwich.
What to Serve with Shrimp Po’ Boys
The perfect side for this shrimp po’ boy is our Creole Coleslaw.
- We recommend making homemade Creole Seasoning. It only takes about 5 minutes. If you use store bought, look for a brand with lower sodium content, as some of them are mostly salt.
- Don’t skimp on the seasonings, Louisiana food is known for big, bold flavors.
- Use wild caught shrimp for best flavor and texture.
- You can make the remoulade sauce ahead of time, but fry the shrimp right before serving.
- When frying the shrimp, do not overcrowd the pan. Work in batches, if necessary.
- If the bread is dense, rather than soft and fluffy, scoop some out to make room for all of those shrimp.
So there you go, one epic sandwich! If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating a shrimp po’ boy, don’t wait, try this recipe in your own kitchen. It’s a mouthful, so bring a huge appetite!
Save or pin this great recipe, so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!
Shrimp Po’ Boy, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp Creole mustard
- 1 Tbsp Louisiana style hot sauce
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp sweet relish
- 1 medium sized garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp capers, chopped
- 1 tsp cajun or creole seasoning
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp Louisiana style hot sauce
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 3.5 tsp Creole seasoning, divided
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- oil, for frying
- 2 8 inch lengths French bread
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 2 cups lettuce, chopped
- 1 lemon, for juice
- Mix together all remoulade sauce ingredients. Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use. (see note 1)
- Heat 1 inch of oil over medium high heat to 350°F.
- Mix together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl, and on a plate mix the flour, cornmeal, 2 tsp of the Creole seasoning, and 1 tsp salt.
- Season the shrimp with the remaining Creole seasoning and salt, then dredge in the buttermilk mix, followed by the flour mix.
- Fry the shrimp until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes total, turning once. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Slice the bread almost all the way through, then fold flat. Slather remoulade sauce on both sides. Pile high with shrimp, and give them a good squeeze of lemon juice. Add on tomato and lettuce, then close the sandwich.
- Serve immediately.
- Leftover remoulade sauce can be refrigerated for up to two weeks in an airtight container. See our Remoulade Sauce post for plenty of suggested ways to use leftovers.
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