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Non-Fusiony Asian Shrimp Po’ Boys with Red Cabbage Slaw

I happened to glance at Tom’s “about us” today and had to laugh. He’s written “fusiony Asian” recipes. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I look rather fusiony Asian, and he just got confused. So far, from most of the recipes I’ve posted, you would think I’m a 45-year-old, male bricklayer from Kansas who loves muscle cars, American football, and BBQ. Well actually, the last half is true.

You wouldn’t think it to look at me, but I love fat. As far as I’m concerned, the more butter, cheese, and greasy goodness -the better. Sure, the fusiony Asian stuff does make an appearance from time to time, but lately I’ve been on a comfort food kick, especially those of the American variety.

Last night I made my rendition of a Shrimp Po’ Boy. In some parts, they call it “prawn”, but we are talking American here, so “shrimp” it is. A po’ boy or poor boy sandwich is classic, Louisiana style cooking. As the name suggests, it’s nothing fancy. Just something tasty, fried to perfection, and shoved into a baguette. Sadly, I have never been to New Orleans, so I won’t even touch the topic of authenticity, but I do like to think I’ve given it the respect it deserves.

Shrimp Po’ Boy

For the shrimp

500 g of raw shrimp (ok, prawns) peeled and deveined
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp fennel
2 tsp chili (cayenne) powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard powder
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
zest from 1 lemon

2 eggs, beaten
panko bread crumbs (add fresh black pepper to this)

oil for frying

rocket (arugula)

For the slaw

1/2 head of 1 red cabbage
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp celery salt
salt and pepper
a bit of milk

Heat the oil in a deep pot. Crush the fennel with a mortar and pestle and combine with all the spices. Slice all the shrimp lengthwise down the center. Place them in a plastic bag with spice mix, garlic, sugar, and zest. Toss to coat and set aside.

Combine the yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, mustard, celery salt in a bowl. Season to taste and add a bit of milk if the mixture is thick. Slice the cabbage thin on a mandoline and mix well in a bowl with carrots and the dressing.

Slice a baguette and spread with mayo. Dress some rocket (arugula) with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and set aside.

Deep fat frying is messy, but I find the easiest way is to set up a “station”. Clear enough space for three bowls and a plate lined with paper towels. Put flour in the first bowl, eggs in the second, and panko bread crumbs in the third. Dredge about 6-8 shrimp through the bowls in that order. You don’t have to do them one at a time, but do make sure everything is evenly coated and by the panko stage they are not clumping together. Drop individually into hot oil and fry for 2 minutes.

Slice a baguette and spread with mayo. Add rocket on the bottom, then shrimp, then top with cole slaw.

It is messy and hard to eat, but isn’t that the point?


  1. gastrogeek

    this looks a bit tasty. I can relate to the bricklayer analogy. I am often told I nurture an inner darts player of the very Northern enormous beer gut variety…He usually emerges after my second pint of Guiness.

  2. Jen

    Always listen to your inner man voice.

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