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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
flour
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?

2 Comments

  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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