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A Shrimp Po Boy is the king of sandwiches! This Louisiana staple is loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, fried shrimp, and homemade remoulade sauce, sitting on buttery toasted French bread rolls. Ready in just around 30 minutes, this makes a fantastic family dinner, and is a great way to explore flavors from the Louisiana!
Shrimp is such a healthy, kid-friendly protein to add to your dinner rotation! We love this Shrimp Étouffée (also from Louisiana!) for a warm, hearty stew, and also these Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas that are super easy to throw together and pack in tons of flavor!
Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich
A Shrimp Po Boy is the ULTIMATE Louisiana sandwich! If you have never had one before, these are a must try immediately type of sandwich!
Soft and toasted French bread with melted garlic butter, topped with juicy tomatoes, crisp, thinly sliced iceberg lettuce, my powerhouse remoulade sauce, and of course, perfectly seasoned fried shrimp make up a po’boy sandwich. What could be better?!
This shrimp po boy recipe may seem tricky at first glance, but it’s really quick and simple to throw together! It’s one of my all-time favorite sandwiches and I knew I had to include it as part of Louisiana Week for my American Eats series.
As I have worked my way through this series, I’ve discovered that many states have a sandwich that they are well-known for. This Louisiana shrimp po’boy joins Florida’s cubanos, Indiana’s pork tenderloin sandwich, Illinois’ crock pot Italian beef sandwich, and Kentucky’s hot brown sandwich.
The French have influenced sandwich-making all over the world, and rightly so. French Bread is the perfect vessel to hold lots of toppings and it’s thick enough to soak up sauces without falling apart. We see French bread used everywhere: from the Vietnamese Banh Mi to the American French Dip Sandwich, and of course the Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich.
Po boy sandwiches don’t have to be made with shrimp. You can actually get them with anything from roast beef and chicken to Louisiana hot sausage and even rabbit. Or the seafood version can have shrimp, crawfish, oysters, or catfish, all fried to perfection. But the shrimp version will always be my personal favorite!
What’s on a Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich?
Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients needed to make a po boy. The remoulade sauce takes all of 2 minutes to make, and a lot of the rest of the list is just sandwich toppings.
- Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is the base of the remoulade sauce for the Po Boy. It adds creaminess and richness.
- Dijon mustard: I love this ingredient for adding big, bold flavor to almost any recipe. This adds some kick to the remoulade.
- Seasoning: For seasoning, I used creole seasoning which is a combination of onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and salt, and sometimes cayenne or paprika as well. I also added extra salt and black pepper to really bring the flavors out.
- Spice: Smoked paprika adds a delicious and almost sweet smokiness to the remoulade sauce. It is addictive!
- Prepared horseradish: Horseradish has a strong, spicy, peppery taste and a little goes a long way. Feel free to add extra if you like that peppery heat!
- Relish: I love dill pickles on sandwiches and dill pickle relish takes this sauce to another level, although you could use a sweet pickle relish if you prefer.
- Hot sauce: You can add more if you like it spicy, but Louisiana hot sauce is a must in this Louisiana Po boy Sandwich!
- Fresh herbs: Fresh, minced garlic and finely chopped green onions pack in the flavor of this remoulade!
- Lemon: Lemon juice brings a brightness to the shrimp po boy sauce, and balances out the other flavors.
- Worcestershire sauce: Like the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce helps to balance everything out.
- Shrimp: I used raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp with their tails off. Perfect for frying!
- Dry ingredients: Flour and cornmeal make up the dry ingredients for the shrimp batter. Cornmeal makes the shrimp coating even crispier!
- Wet ingredients: Buttermilk and egg help the flour and cornmeal stick to the shrimp to make sure they are well-coated, while also adding some flavor of their own.
- Seasoning: Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper ensure flavor in every bite.
- Cayenne pepper: Just a little kick of heat makes this fried shrimp recipe stand out!
- French rolls: French rolls and baguettes are really common in New Orleans, and that’s what we use for this shrimp Po Boy Sandwich! They’re nice and thick, and they soak up any juices and sauce really well.
- Garlic butter: I melt the butter and mix it with the garlic powder before spreading it on the rolls and toasting the buns on a griddle. Garlic bread for a sandwich? Yes, please!
- Leafy greens: You can add either sliced cabbage or shredded lettuce. Just be sure to slice it very thin. This is a textural and flavor element that helps keep the sandwich from feeling too heavy.
- Tomatoes: Sliced tomatoes give this shrimp po boy sandwich extra juiciness! Traditional Po boys have both lettuce & tomatoes.
How to Make a Shrimp Po Boy
- Whip up the remoulade sauce: Combine the lemon juice, mayo, garlic, relish, green onions, mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, creole seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk well. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour. It can even be made a few days in advance.
- Mix the dry ingredients for the batter: Combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic, garlic & onion powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish. We are setting up dredging stations to coat the shrimp before frying.
- Mix the wet ingredients. Next, beat the buttermilk and egg in a separate dish. I find pie plates work really well.
4. Dip and cool. Dip the shrimp in the buttermilk mixture first, then let the excess drip off. Dredge the shrimp in the flour and cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess and transferring to a plate. Repeat until all of the shrimp have been coated. Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes. This time actually lets the dry flour/cornmeal coating absorb some of the moisture from the buttermilk mixture and get tacky so it doesn’t fall off during the frying process. It’s the same technique I use for my fried chicken and it makes a big difference!
5. Fry it up! Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a large pan to 350 degrees F and then fry the shrimp a few at a time until golden brown and crispy, usually around 3-4 minutes. Remove the fried shrimp from the hot oil to a wire rack using a slotted spoon or spatula and repeat until all of the shrimp have been cooked.
6. Slice, heat, spread, and toast. Slice the rolls for the Po Boy sandwich almost in half horizontally, leaving one side intact to act as a hinge and hold the sandwich together. Heat the butter and garlic in a small bowl in the microwave until melted. Open the bread spread with the garlic butter and then toast the bread on a hot griddle, buttered side down. Please, please, please don’t skip this step! A buttered, griddled roll is one of the best things in life!
7. Make the sandwich! Finally, spread remoulade sauce over both sides of the rolls. Top with lettuce on one side, tomatoes on the other, then shrimp down the middle. Drizzle with additional sauce, then fold over and dig in!
Storage & reheating
If you have leftovers, store the Shrimp Po Boy ingredients separately:
- Bread: Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Shrimp: Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Remoulade: Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
To reheat the shrimp, you can either fry it again quickly or bake it in an oven until hot. The bread can be heated the same way as before on the griddle.
Why do they call it a Po-Boy?
The name “Po-boy”, is just short for “poor boy”, and it originated from the brothers who created the Po Boy Sandwich – Benny and Clovis Martin. In 1929, in New Orleans, a streetcar (tram) company had gone on strike for four months, and the Martins created the sandwich to give for free to the tram workers who came into their French Market restaurant for a bite to eat.
What’s the difference between a hoagie and a Po Boy?
Hoagies originated in Philadelphia and are Italian-American. They end to have Italian meats like salami and ham, and cheeses like provolone.
On the other hand, a Po Boy sandwich, like this shrimp po boy, is from New Orleans and has French and creole influences, like the French bread, Louisiana Hot Sauce, and of course, seafood like shrimp!
More Sandwich Recipes Like This
- Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwiches
- Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
- Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich
- Turkey Bacon Avocado Sandwich with Kneaders Sauce
- Cubanos (Cuban Sandwich Recipe)
- Cilantro Bomb Burger
- Indiana Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
Shrimp Po Boy
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- 1-2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 2 Tablespoons dill pickle relish
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce adjust to taste
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon about 2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds raw shrimp peeled and deveined with tails off
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoons onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 Large egg
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
- 4 French rolls split open
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups sliced cabbage or shredded lettuce
- 2 large tomatoes sliced
- Dill pickles optional
- For the remoulade sauce, combine the lemon juice, mayo, garlic, pepper relish, green onions, mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, creole seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk well. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Combine cornmeal, flour, garlic , garlic & onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper together in a shallow dish.
- Beat buttermilk and egg in a separate dish.
- Dip the shrimp in the buttermilk mixture first, then let excess drip off. Dredge the shrimp in the flour and cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess and transferring to a plate. Repeat until all of the shrimp have been coated. Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a large pan to 350 degrees F.
- Fry the shrimp a few at a time until golden brown and crispy, usually around 3-4 minutes. Remove from the hot oil to a wire rack using a slotted spoon or spatula and repeat until all of the shrimp have been cooked.
- Slice the rolls almost in half horizontally, leaving one side intact to act as a hinge and hold the sandwich together. Heat the butter and garlic in a small bowl in the microwave until melted. Open the bread spread with the garlic butter. Toast on a hot griddle, buttered side down.
- Spread remoulade sauce over both sides of the rolls. Top with lettuce on one side, tomatoes on the other, then shrimp down the middle. Drizzle with additional sauce, then fold over.
- Top with shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Place shrimp down the center of each roll, then drizzle generously with the remoulade sauce. Close the sandwich and serve.