Do you like shrimp? Do you like sandwiches? Then look no further than this classic New Orleans staple, the shrimp po boy sandwich recipe.
I have found that some of the best meals I’ve ever eaten have been from small hole-in-the-wall places that are no frills, no fuss, but serve delicious food. These places are typically off the beaten path with a nondescript sign hanging out front by a single nail. With the faint smell of the fryer, looking in the windows, it is only serious diners that are there for one reason: to enjoy a meal that has been on their mind since the very moment they enjoyed it last. There’s no conversation, yet simply reading the looks on their faces and some closing their eyes with every bite, then yes, that is the gage. When you witness this, then you’ve struck the jackpot.
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You’re about to eat one of the best meals of your life.
Foodies unite. There’s no rule nor classification on a definition of the best meal you’ve enjoyed. Great food is great food. Of all of the restaurants around the world that Sean and I have eaten, two of our favorite meals have been in New Orleans. One restaurant is G.W. Fins; a swanky place where every single dish on their menu is suburb. The ambiance is beautiful, the lighting is moody, and the food is delectable.
Then there’s this little dive restaurant on a quiet(ish) street in the French Quarter that serves up the most amazing Po Boys. It was recommended to us by a friend of a friend of a friend, whom, clearly knows us and our love of food adventures. This my friends, is Johnny’s Po Boy.
When I tell you I moaned when I took my first bite of the shrimp po boy I ordered, I’m totally telling you the truth. And I wasn’t alone. Everyone in there was in serious po boy business. They came for the sandwich, and they’ll be back for the sandwich.
The last time we were there, we ordered the daily po boy special which was The Voodoo Po Boy. And, with a sandwich name like that, well then, by all means, let’s order it and see what it’s all about.
It was delicious.
The shrimp were tender and fried perfectly.
The flavor was killer.
The sauce was sweet with heat. Amen.
The lettuce was shaved and the tomato was sliced so thin that a bite could be taken without the whole thing sliding out.
The bread was toasted just perfectly. Not too much, not too little.
This Voodoo Po Boy was sensational. Served on a paper plate. And it’s just a sandwich, for crying out loud. But not just any sandwich. Clearly, they didn’t call it voodoo just for kicks.
Y’all, I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t think of this sandwich every single day. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. The Voodoo Shrimp Po Boy has now been upgraded to a restaurant legacy.
So, knowing me, I set out to TRY to come up with my own recipe that could, perhaps, come close to the sandwich I literally lost sleep over because it was so dang good. First, I needed to pin point the sauce; the voodoo sauce. That sweet heat I needed to master, yet keep the crunch of the coating intact. I would start with a Thai sweet chili sauce. To add some heat, I veered away from most hot sauces because of their vinegar-y base. Sriracha was my answer, along with a bit of a mayonnaise base to complete the voodoo.
I’m heading in the right direction, and though I know that I’m not spot on, I have come up with a recipe that could, perhaps, perform its own voodoo on your tastebuds. And, for a delicious drink to accompany the po boy, this drink is right on!
A Competitively Best Ever Shrimp Po Boy Recipe
Best Ever Shrimp Po Boy Recipe
For The Shrimp:
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cornstarch
- vegetable oil for frying
- sub sandwich rolls
- 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
- 3 very thin slices of fresh tomato
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
- 3 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the voodoo sauce. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Add peeled and deveined shrimp to bowl and toss to thoroughly coat. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Remove shrimp from marinade a few at a time, letting excess marinade drip off. Dip both sides in cornstarch until fully coated. Tap off the excess and arrange breaded shrimp baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, preheat broiler and toast bread lightly, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a dutch oven or electric fryer to 375 degrees. Fry shrimp in batches, cooking for 2 1/2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Use a strainer to transfer shrimp to a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Transfer shrimp to a medium sized bowl and pour over voodoo sauce. With a spoon, carefully fold the shrimp into the sauce until all are coated.
- Build the sandwich. First, add lettuce, then tomato, then pile on the shrimp. Cut the sandwich in half, on an angle, and serve.
If you didn’t already gather this, I’m not only obsessed with this shrimp po boy, but also this New Orleans classic. I shared it before, and I’m going to keep sharing it.