Plenty of places on the Coast sell shrimp po-boys, but the further inland you go, the fewer you see.
It would be a pity to live in a place where a good po-boy cannot be found.
So what does it take to make a great shrimp po-boy?
If you read this blog only occasionally, you know exactly what I am going to say; don't overcook the shrimp.
Shrimp are delicate, and when overcooked become tough and tasteless.
Certainly the batter you use matters -- some like flour, some like cornmeal.
Some cooks make an egg wash, some cooks use buttermilk or a combination of milk and egg. The bread also is a big consideration, with several commercial varieties available, but I will always go for the locally baked loaf. How it's dressed counts quite a bit, but a good dollop of good mayonnaise, and tomato are the only accompaniments I need.
PERFECT SHRIMP PO-BOY
1 pound large, peeled shrimp
1 package panko bread crumbs
1 package tempura mix
1 po-boy loaf per person
1 farmers market tomato, thinly sliced
Homemade mayo or your favorite
Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
Toss the shrimp in the tempura dry mix which has been aggressively seasoned with Tony's, then allow to rest until tacky. Toss in the panko, shake off excess and fry in hot oil for less than 2 minutes. Drain and reserve. Slice the loaf diagonally, slather on the mayonnaise, pile on the shrimp, then top with the juicy sliced tomatoes. Serve at once.