The po'boy sandwich, much like the muffaletta, is a fixture of New Orleans cuisine. And, like the muffaletta, it has many variations — some might argue, even more. That's because the po'boy has undergone a bit of a renaissance in New Orleans, with new kids on the block making reimagined versions with liver cheese, grilled shrimp, and roasted duck, to name a few examples. And now there's even a "Vietnamese po'boy" that's become popular, otherwise known as a banh mi, whose endearing nickname points to a growing affinity among locals for the "new" sandwich.
But even the traditional po'boys come in many variations. Walking into a typical po'boy shop in the Big Easy means confronting a nearly paralyzing array of choices, including juicy fried oysters, perfectly fried shrimp, flaky fried catfish, crunchy soft-shell crab (fried, of course), ham and cheese, sausage, or even meatballs. And let's not forget about roast beef and gravy, topped with french fries. So in figuring out how to make the ultimate po'boy, we first had to pick one.
Which one did we go with? While the first "poor boy" sandwich created in 1929 during a streetcar strike featured potatoes and beef gravy, we decided to go with the fried oyster po'boy for its fame throughout the country. So we tapped chef Brian Jupiter, New Orleans native and executive chef for Pioneer Tavern Group, for some tips on how to make the ultimate po'boy and his childhood recipe. His simple advice rests on having the right ingredients and taking the time to prepare them with loving care.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.