New Orleans Oyster Po’ Boys

We usually wolf down our po’ boys right there in the kitchen near the stove, hot and spicy, the oysters crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and the tartar sauce all over our fingers.

When you are jonesing for New Orleans, you can always make your own Po’ Boys with Big Easy grins. Enjoy!


24 shucked oysters, drained, lightly salted
2 cups yellow cornmeal, for coating
2 tablespoons red cocktail sauce (optional, we like to slather this directly on the top bread)
2 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying (we use peanut oil)
1 large loaf, or 2 small, soft-crusted French bread or sourdough loafs
2 to 4 tomatoes, depending on size, sliced
4 cups roughly shredded butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce
A bottle of your favorite hot sauce to pour on… we like Crystal, which is pure Louisiana

Note: If serving only 2, using 12 oysters, you can reduce all the ingredients, including the tartar sauce, seasonings and corn meal, in half.


1 tablespoon cayenne
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, crushed
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder


In a 1 gallon plastic storage zip lock bag, working in batches of 6, shake oysters with the cornmeal and seasoning mixed well together, knocking off the excess.

In a 10 inch cast iron pan heat oil to 375, using a deep-fat thermometer, and fry oysters in batches of 6, turning occasionally, until golden and just cooked through, 30 to 45 seconds for each side. Transfer oysters with a slotted spoon or tongs to paper towels to drain.

Halve loaves crosswise and horizontally, cutting all the way through, hollowing out enough of the interior bread to make room for the oysters.

Divide tomatoes, lettuce, and oysters along the bottom pieces of bread, pour on top some hot sauce and tons of tartar, and remaining bread, pressing together gently.

Tartar Sauce (for 24 oysters)

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced sweet pickle
1 hard-boiled large egg, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves or 2 teaspoons crumbled dried tarragon
2 tablespoons Creole or Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, at least one lemon