RECIPE: Fried Oyster Po’ Boys


This famous New Orleans sandwich specialty translates perfectly to another locale plentiful with oysters. These crispy cornmeal-coated oysters are served with a jazzed-up mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato on a roll. In New Orleans, po’ boys makers use a soft-crusted French bread. 

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RECIPE: Fried Oyster Po’ Boys

  • Author: Catherine Walthers
  • Yield: Serves 4


Units Scale

For the po' boy

  • 1 dozen (or more) oysters, shucked
  • 1 quart vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 brioche rolls or hot dog rolls
  • Homemade tartar sauce (see recipe below) or plain mayonnaise
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Lemon wedges (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tomato, sliced

For the tartar sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons capers, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons relish
  • Salt and pepper


To make the po' boy:

1. In a heavy pot or a fryer, add oil and heat to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. One at a time, dip the oysters into the egg mixture, then coat in the cornmeal mixture. Fry in small batches, until oysters are golden on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
3. To assemble the po’ boy, slather the bottom bun with the tartar sauce, or mayonnaise, and layer with lettuce, 2 oysters, a squeeze of lemon, a half slice of tomato, and top with bun. Serve immediately.

To make the tartar sauce:

1. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers, Bluedot’s food editor, is a Martha’s Vineyard-based writer, culinary instructor, and private chef. A former journalist, she is the author of 4 cookbooks, including Kale, Glorious Kale, Soups + Sides, and Raising the Salad Bar. She wrote an environmental guidebook called A Greener Boston published by Chronicle Books in 1992. Follow her on Instagram @catherine_walthers.
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