I’ve been traveling to New Orleans for over three years now every month to work with my friend Joy, and I can’t even begin to describe the first time I visited. It’s a magical place with warm people and delicious food. The first time I ate a po’boy was with Julian, down at the French Quarter. We each ordered one and then ate them as we walked to a museum and it was magical experience. I always say that po’boys are the world’s simplest sandwich, they’re made with soft white bread loaves, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, yet they are so delicious. It’s weird because they’re not fancy at all, but still so amazing. The type of po’boy is completely your choice, with many different options, but the best in my humble opinion will always be the fried shrimp po’boys. Fried shrimp always has my heart. I wanted to recreate that experience at home, but in salad form. I’m a big fan of hearty salads that aren’t even that healthy for you because who really wants a healthy salad anyhow? You won’t get that from this site. Instead, you’ll get a fried shrimp salad loaded with croutons and remoulade sauce. Don’t sleep on this recipe. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
Let’s start with the croutons, which will act like the bread of this sandwich inspired salad. Toss the bread cubes with a bit of olive oil and season with Cajun seasoning blend. Shake into an even layer and bake until golden brown and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn them over about halfway through baking.
**Tip: If you’ve ever had a traditional Po’boy from New Orleans, you’ll know that the bread it’s traditionally serve with is a soft white loaf that is not organic in the least. It’s soft and squishy and just perfect. So to mimic that texture, you don’t want a crusty french bread at all. It’s best if you use a soft hoagie roll. Cut that up and use that as croutons. The soft bread will create crispy croutons as opposed to crunchy and that is very crucial in this salad.**
This salad doesn’t have an actual dressing, but rather we’re making a homemade remoulade sauce to go with it. It’s like a really jazzed (pun intended) mayo. In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, capers, scallions, mustard, parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper.
**Tip: You can make this remoulade up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. I actually prefer to make it in advance because it tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge.**
Let’s assemble the dredging station for the shrimp. In a large bowl, toss together the shrimp with Cajun seasoning. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce. In a third bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal and some more Cajun seasoning.
**Tip: If you can’t find Cajun seasoning at the store, you can make it yourself at home. Just combine 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.**
Working in batches, dip the shrimp first into the buttermilk and then into the cornmeal and flour mixture. Shake off the excess and place on a baking sheet. Continue dredging the rest of the shrimp.
Allow the shrimp to rest for a bit so that the coating has a chance to stick to the shrimp. In the meantime, you can heat up the oil. Fill a large pot about halfway up with vegetable or canola oil to about 350 degrees F.
**Tip: I know that frying can be a bit daunting, but having a deep-frying thermometer really makes all the difference in the world. This one from Amazon will do the trick. You always want to make sure your oil is at temperature so that whatever you’re frying gets fried perfectly.**
Once hot, place a few shrimp at a time carefully into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crunchy, about 4 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Continue frying the rest in the same manner.
To make the salad, cut the iceberg lettuce into small little wedges and arrange onto a large platter. Traditional po’boys are made with shredded iceberg lettuce, so that’s why I’m using iceberg in this salad.
Top with tomato wedges and pickle slices. Again, our main goal here is to replicate the taste and flavor of po’boys and both tomatoes and pickles are a must.
Arrange the fried shrimp on top, along with the crispy croutons.
**Note: You can arrange the salad on one very large platter or you can arrange them on individual serving plates. It all depends on what you prefer or what you have on hand. Not everyone might have a large platter, and this is a hefty salad after all.**
Finally, top the salad with the homemade remoulade from earlier, adding as much or as little as you’d like. Then finish with a bit of Cajun seasoning just for that final bit of flavor at the end.
If you don’t make the salad, hey, at least you’ll have a great recipe for fried shrimp. Use the homemade remoulade as a dipping sauce. It would make for an unbelievable appetizer. It’s a win/win situation.
One final request is that you must serve this with a couple dashes of Louisiana hot sauce. Whichever you can find at your grocery store. There are a few brands available. I love eating my po’boys with a hot sauce! You also need Zaaps potatoes chips if you can find them. They’re super crunchy kettle chips that have some great seasoning. I love them!
If you’re a hearty salad love, like myself, then this is YOUR salad. Now, I like me a salad every now and then and I eat them because they make my feel healthy. This however, has to be the first time that I really have LOVED a salad. It’s hearty, delicious, and the kind of salad you should be eating. You’re going to love it.
- 2 soft hoagie rolls
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1½ pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
- couple dashes hot sauce
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
- ½ cup pickle chips, drained
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons capers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 scallion, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the hoagie rolls into large chunks and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning. Bake until golden brown and slightly crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the shrimp with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning. Pour the buttermilk in a separate bowl and add in the hot sauce. In a third dish, combine the flour, cornmeal and the remaining Cajun seasoning. To coat the shrimp, working in batches, dip the shrimp into the buttermilk and then into the flour and cornmeal coating. Shake off the excess and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
- Fill a large pot halfway up with oil and heat over moderate heat to 350 degrees F. Once hot, add a few shrimp at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, and continue to fry the remaining shrimp.
- To make the remoulade dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic and store in the fridge until ready to use. It can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- Cut the lettuce into small wedges and arrange on a large platter. Top with the tomatoes, and pickles. Arrange the fried shrimp on top, along with the croutons. Drizzle with the remoulade and season lightly with a bit of Cajun seasoning. Serve immediately and enjoy!