A Shrimp Po Boy is a classic New Orleans sandwich stuffed with crispy, seasoned fried shrimp, lettuce and tomato and topped with a tangy remoulade sauce.
This authentic Louisiana sandwich is so simple and so delicious, yet it can stand on its own as a meal. Serve with Homemade Baked French Fries (add a little cajun seasoning to make them truly incredible), potato chips, or Red Potato Salad.
The first time I tasted a Shrimp Po Boy sandwich was in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. It had these crispy, succulent fried shrimp with lettuce and tomato and sauce on a chewy french roll. It was divine! I dreamed about making them at home but they seemed way too delicious to be easy. I soon found out how wrong as was when I finally tried them out.
The key to a really amazing Po Boy is good quality ingredients. You want to use the freshest shrimp you can find, and a good, slightly chewy bread with a crusty exterior. The crispy fried shrimp are kicked up with a spicy creole seasoning that you can make yourself or buy in the spice aisle; homemade cajun seasoning also works well. The tangy remoulade sauce elevates the flavors of the shrimp and cools the heat slightly, making this sandwich a completely enjoyable experience.
Why do They Call it a Po Boy?
Two New Orleans brother invented the Shrimp Po Boy sandwich in 1929. When the streetcar drivers in NOLA went on strike, the brothers vowed to feed them even if they couldn’t pay. The sandwich was called the “Poor Boy,” shortened to Po Boy because the people who were ordering the sandwich didn’t have any money.
An authentic New Orleans Po Boy Sandwich has just a few simple ingredients.
Fried Shrimp – freshness is key, and I use large or jumbo shrimp seasoned with creole spices and coated in panko breadcrumbs. In a pinch you could use frozen fried shrimp (no tails!) that you’ve baked in the oven but the best Po Boy has freshly fried shrimp.
Shredded lettuce – Just simple iceberg lettuce for cool crunch. Romaine would also work, but you’d want to slice it into thin shreds.
Sliced tomatoes – Heirloom tomatoes are incredible on this sandwich, but anything you can get your hands on will work just fine.
Remoulade sauce – Every good sandwich needs a little mayo to moisten the bread. This remoulade sauce is so much more than that. With a mayo base, pickle relish, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire and hot sauces, and a little creole seasoning, it’s simple to mix up and just spread all over the bread. It’s also a yummy dipping sauce for Salmon Patties and Crab Cakes.
How to Make a Shrimp Po Boy
Grab some good quality, chewy french rolls and slit them in half, keep one side in tact. Slather the remoulade sauce generously on each side of the bread. Then stuff the crispy shrimp – as many as you can fit – down into the roll and stuff the lettuce and sliced tomatoes into the sides.
For a spicier sandwich, sprinkle a little bit of the cajun seasoning on top. Serve with potato chips, fries or macaroni salad.
2poundslarge or jumbo shrimp peeleddeveined and tails removed
2tablespoonsfresh lemon juice
Hot sauceto taste
Creole seasoningto taste
46-8 inch Hoagie or French rolls
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Place shrimp in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Creole seasoning and stir to coat.
Set up breading station using three shallow dishes (like a pie pan): In the first dish pour in ¾ cup of flour. In the second dish, whisk together eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. In the third dish, combine Panko breadcrumbs with ½ cup of flour. Coat shrimp in flour (shake off excess), then egg (let excess drip off), then Panko/flour mixture, pressing breadcrumbs lightly into shrimp to coat. Arrange shrimp in a single layer on a plate until all are coated and ready to fry.
Pour about an inch of vegetable oil in a heavy bottom dutch oven or skillet with high sides and over medium heat; about 5-10 minutes. You can test with a meat thermometer that should register between 350-400 degrees, or drop in a few breadcrumbs to see if it sizzles.
Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels.
Fry shrimp in a single layer (you may need to fry several batches), 1-2 minutes per batch or until breading is golden in color. The amount of time will depend on how hot the oil is - don’t overcook or the shrimp will become chewy. Use a metal strainer to remove shrimp from the oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Sprinkle salt lightly over the shrimp.
Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Add hot sauce and creole seasoning to your liking. Recommend using at least one of the other, ot both if you like the heat.
Open rolls and spread sauce generously on both sides. Stuff with shrimp, tomato slices and lettuce.
You can make your own Creole seasoning with paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, dried oregano, basil and thyme.Nutritional information is approximate.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.