Shrimp Po’ Boys with Remoulade

Crispy fried shrimp on a french roll with remoulade, tomatoes and lettuce.

A Taste of Wild - Gulf Coast

Jon and Aubrey head south to the Gulf Coast to discover the hot, humid bayou country, explore the deep and diverse flavors of Cajun and Creole cooking and share their favorite eats along the way.

Shrimp Po’ Boys with Remoulade

Mobile, Alabama. High noon.

I’ve just coated a pound of fresh gulf shrimp in cornmeal, and I’m drinking cold beer from a mason jar. Aubrey’s sprawled out on the dock. She’s catching some rays with her nose in a paperback, and then she glimpses me staring. She waves. I wave back.

It’s time to fry.  I scoop some shrimp and drop ‘em in hot oil. Pszzzzzz! Po’ boys coming up!

Like some of the very best culinary inventions, po’ boys first came about from a marriage of necessity and convenience. Traditional French cooking is generally a sit-down affair, but for the busy laborers of early New Orleans, a quick and delicious sandwich did the job just as well. Enter the po’ boy: a blend of freshly-cooked meat on an easy-to-carry French bun. 

For those with conservative tastes, roast beef is a popular po’ boy filler in New Orleans, topped with hot gravy. But the variations are endless. Fried oysters are a crispy yet soft, rich and savory filling, but we’ve also seen po’ boys with catfish, ham and cheese, soft shell crab, crawfish, hot sausage––even gator. 

Down in Louisiana, they make bread specifically for po’ boys, called New Orleans French bread. Lighter than a traditional French bread, it’s crisp and crusty on the outside, fluffy inside. Like any truly excellent sandwich, the right bread can make all the difference, but if you don’t have access to New Orleans French bread, treat yourself to the freshest, crispest mini-loaves of French bread you can find at your local grocer or bakery. 

After the rolls are piled high with filling, po’ boys are typically garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise. Here, we’ve made a remoulade sauce instead, which you may recognize from our Jalapeño Hush Puppies recipe. If you make a big batch at the beginning of the week, you’ll find a dozen delicious ways to use it, which is to say: there’s no such thing as too much. Go ahead and make a double batch, it’s an easy way to prep for two recipes at once. Alternately, fried seafood po’ boys are sometimes just served with a drizzle of melted butter and pickle rounds, so there’s no wrong way to do it. Trust your heart––and your fridge––on this one.

Shrimp Po' Boys

Shrimp Po' Boys

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep: 10 minutes Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup cornstarch or all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons Creole seasoning

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 pound raw, deveined shrimp

Cooking Tools

Method

  1. Heat a small pot of oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Start with shrimp that is peeled and deveined and has the tails removed. Butterfly each shrimp by slicing them lengthwise, along where the vain used to be.
  3. Combine cornstarch, cornmeal, Creole seasoning, salt, and black pepper in a bowl and mix all the seasonings till they are evenly distributed. Add shrimp and toss until fully coated. 
  4. Fry in batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Overcrowding causes uneven cooking. Fry until the shrimp look golden brown, but look sharp––shrimp cooks fast. Remove shrimp with tongs or a slotted metal spoon and place onto a plate with a paper towel to absorb excess grease.
  5. Assemble each sandwich by placing tomato, iceberg lettuce and fried shrimp onto a French roll. Finish with remoulade and enjoy.
Remoulade

Remoulade

Yield: About 1 cup
Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon capers, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon or creole mustard
  • 4 cornichons or dill pickles, finely diced
  • ½ of a lemon, juiced
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking Tools

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings to suit your taste.

Jon and Aubrey used the stove, knife and cutting board from Camp Chef, a brand THOR recommends for easy campground cooking.