Experience New Orleans with a Delicious Oyster Po’ Boy Sandwich

The po’ boy is one of the most iconic New Orleans dishes we have in the South. Nearly every one of our hundreds of restaurants down here serves some variation of this traditional sandwich.

A po’ boy is always served on crusty French bread with all the fixings: lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and flavorful remoulade sauce. This classic variation is loaded with crispy cornmeal-crusted fried oysters which creates a finger-lickin’ good sub. Serve it as an indulgent weekend lunch or a fun weeknight dinner.

A Platter Filled with Oyster Po' Boys, Surrounded by a Kitchen Towel and a Bowl of Remoulade

When making po’ boys, the best oysters to purchase are freshly shucked. They are always sold in their own liquid and the container is dated to guarantee freshness. You can also purchase fresh oysters and shuck them yourself.

Look for the freshest oysters possible with a fresh smell and use them as soon as possible after purchase. To prepare them for frying, feel around each one for leftover bits of shell using your hands. It’s quite common to find some bits of shell since shucking them is difficult.

A Platter Filled with Oyster Po' Boys, Surrounded by a Kitchen Towel and a Bowl of Remoulade
Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

If you’re intimidated by deep frying, read through these steps and take your time! We are at home cooking, let’s not rush. Follow these tips and you’ll be set up for success:

  • Have a thermometer on hand so you can monitor the temperature of your oil while frying.
  • You want enough oil that the oysters will float and not hit the bottom of the pot. About 3 to 4 inches of oil should do the trick. Just be sure to leave a few inches of headroom so that the pot doesn’t boil over.
  • You want to fry your oysters hot and fast! At 375°F, the oysters will crisp up the outside perfectly, leaving you with plump, juicy oysters when you bite into them.
  • Line a sheet tray with a cooling rack—you’ll transfer the oysters here once they come out of the oil to allow the excess grease to drain.

Remoulade sauce is a super flavorful, creamy sauce unique to New Orleans. The sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also use this as a salad dressing (my fave!) if you have extra lying around.

This is the only part of the po’ boy you can really make ahead. You can prep your toppings up to a few hours ahead of time (shred the lettuce, slice tomatoes, etc.), but fry the oysters right before you’re ready to eat.

Plate of Oyster Po' Boy with All the Topping
Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

Freshly shucked oysters are typically sold in their own liquid, which will keep them salty, or in water. I recommend tasting a fresh oyster so you can gauge the salt level before you season and fry them—then you can adjust the salt level to taste.

This recipe makes extra remoulade sauce. If you’d rather not have leftovers, you can halve the sauce recipe.

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, such as Slap Ya Mama
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix, such as White Lily
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, such as Slap Ya Mama
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste (adjust based on the saltiness of your oysters and Cajun seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 quarts canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 gallon (about 40) freshly shucked oysters, in liquid
  • French bread
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Dill pickles
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced white onions
  1. Make the remoulade sauce:

    In a small bowl, stir together all of the remoulade sauce ingredients until combined. Set aside until ready to use. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

    Bowl of Remoulade Ingredients (Mayonnaise, Heavy Cream, Spice, and Scallions) for Oyster Po' Boy Recipe
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
    Bowl of Remoulade for Po' Boy Recipe
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
  2. Make the cornmeal batter:

    In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal mix, flour, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Whisk to mix.

    Line a sheet pan with paper towels and set nearby.

    Bowl of Dry Dredging Ingredients (Flour, Corn Meal, and Spices) Next to a Kitchen Towel with a Whisk for NOLA Oyster Po' Boy Recipe
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
    Bowl of Dry Dredging Ingredients for NOLA Recipes
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
  3. Preheat the oil:

    Add enough oil to reach 2 to 3 inches up the side of a large, deep cast-iron pot or Dutch oven. You should have at least 2 to 3 inches of space above the oil to prevent it from boiling over.

    Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375°F.

    Pot of Oil with a Frying Thermometer for NOLA Po' Boy Recipe
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
  4. Dredge the oysters:

    Meanwhile, prepare the oysters. Remove a few shucked oysters from their liquid and briefly let them drip dry. Add them to the breading and toss to coat completely. Move them to a clean plate and repeat with the rest of the oysters.

    Dredged Oyster on a Platter Next to Bowl of Dry Dredging Mix with an Oyster in It for Oyster Po' Boy Recipe
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
  5. Fry the oysters:

    When the oil comes up to temperature, carefully lower several of the oysters into the oil using a spider or slotted spoon. Don’t overfill the pot—the oysters should have plenty of room to cook without crowding each other. You will need to work in batches. Fry until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Remove from the oil, drain, and place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining oysters.

    Oysters Frying in Pot of Hot Oil for Oyster Po Boy Recipe
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
    Fried Oysters Removed Using a Spider for NOLA Oyster Po Boy Recipe
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
  6. Assemble the sandwich:

    Split the bread in two (if needed) and spread the remoulade sauce on the top and bottom. Add the pickles and top with the fried oysters, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, and sliced onion. Serve immediately.

    The remoulade sauce will keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

    Love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

    Assembling the Oyster Po' Boy (from L to R): Fried Oysters on a Paper Towel Lined Baking Sheet, Small Plate with Sliced Tomatoes, Small Plate of Pickles, French Bread Smeared with Remoulade, Another Loaf with Oyster Po Boy Ingredients, Small Plate with Shredded Lettuce, and Small Plate with Sliced Onions
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu
    Plate of Oyster Po' Boy with All the Topping
    Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

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