Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich Recipe

The po boy is a classic New Orleans-style sandwich with a somewhat ironic name — these sandwiches are typically made with seafood, often shrimp, and this ingredient isn't what you'd really call cheap. Still, nobody really wants a po boy made with Dollar Tree baloney, so shrimp it is. Maybe we could just change the name to "rich boy," but for now, the po boy is a pretty iconic and revered sandwich.

Recipe developer Molly Madigan Pisula says that one thing that maker her shrimp po boy sandwich stand out is an ingredient swap she likes to use. She tells us that "Some po' boy recipes call for pickles as a topping, but I think chopping lightly sour cornichons and adding them to the sauce is even better." This way, she says, "you get a little bit of that flavor and crunch in every bite." Of course, you can always get this same effect using any other type of pickles you like to use as a sandwich topper if you just chop them finely.

Collect the ingredients for the shrimp po boy

The most time-consuming part of making this sandwich may be acquiring all of the 18 ingredients called for here. Some of them you may already have in your pantry, like vegetable oil for frying and salt, flour, cornmeal, cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper used for the flour coating. Other ingredients include buttermilk, Crystal hot sauce, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cornichons, French bread rolls, a beefsteak tomato, and some iceberg lettuce.

And of course, you'll need shrimp. While you can use whatever size you like, Pisula notes that it "will take longer to dip and coat medium shrimp since you need to do them individually."

Marinate the shrimp

Mix the buttermilk with 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce. Cover the thawed shrimp with the milk mixture, then stick them in the refrigerator for an hour to marinate.

Coat the shrimp in seasoned flour

Mix the flour with the cornmeal and dry seasonings. Take the shrimp out of the marinade one at a time and gently shake or tap them to get the excess liquid off. Roll or dunk them in the seasoned flour until they are coated.

Fry the shrimp

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large heavy pot until it reaches (but does not exceed) a temperature of 350 F. Add a few shrimp at a time to the pan and cook them until they are golden, something that should take about a minute for large shrimp. Take the shrimp out and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels, then repeat the process until all of the shrimp have been fried. Before you add the next batch to the oil, though, make sure to heat it until it again reaches 350 F.

Pisula points out that "the frying part is the trickiest part of this recipe." She advises cooking just a few shrimp at a time because if you overcrowd the pan, the shrimp may stick together and it could also lower the oil temperature. She advises that five or six shrimp at a time works best, although she admits that you could do upwards of nine or 10.

Build the po boy sandwiches

Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard, pickles, and remaining hot sauce. Spread a thin layer of the mayonnaise mixture over the bottom of each roll, then divide the shrimp between the rolls and top them with the lettuce and tomatoes. Finish off the po boys with the remaining mayonnaise — plus, of course, the top halves of the rolls.

Pisula tells us that although she gives the proportions of this recipe as being enough for two servings, it can easily serve four, along "with a big pile of potato chips or a side salad," as she recommends.

Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
If you're looking to make an authentic po boy sandwich, follow this step-by-step recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
shrimp sandwich with potato chips
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Crystal hot sauce, divided (or other type of Louisiana-style hot sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder or flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cornichons
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 (10-inch) French bread rolls, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  1. Mix the buttermilk with 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Marinate the shrimp in the buttermilk for an hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Combine the remaining salt with the flour, cornmeal, cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
  4. Gently tap or shake each shrimp to remove excess liquid, then coat with the seasoned flour.
  5. Heat 2 inches of oil in a medium pan or Dutch oven to 350 F.
  6. Fry the shrimp in batches of 5 to 6 pieces for about 1 minute or until golden brown, making sure the oil heats back up to 350 F between batches.
  7. Drain the shrimp on a plate lined with paper towels.
  8. Mix the remaining hot sauce with the mayonnaise, mustard, and cornichons and spread a thin layer on the bottom of each bread roll.
  9. Divide the shrimp between the rolls, topping with the tomatoes and lettuce.
  10. Use the rest of the mayonnaise to top each sandwich.
  11. Cover the sandwiches with the top halves of the rolls and serve.
Calories per Serving 2,089
Total Fat 140.8 g
Saturated Fat 12.3 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 381.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 139.9 g
Dietary Fiber 7.9 g
Total Sugars 14.6 g
Sodium 1,989.1 mg
Protein 69.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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