Why It Works
- Double-dredging the fish in a flour-cornmeal mixture creates a crunchy, light coating.
- Letting the dredged fish rest in the refrigerator before frying helps prevent the coating from sloughing off after frying.
- A spicy rémoulade gives the sandwich plenty of kick.
Crisp, flaky filets of tilapia or catfish go wonderfully with the creamy rémoulade and fresh pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce in this classic po' boy. The filets are double-dredged in a mixture of cornmeal and flour to ensure maximum crispiness, and the thin fish cooks up so quickly you'll have sandwiches on the table in less than an hour. If you want to serve more than one kind of po' boy, try your hand at these shrimp and oyster versions.
- For the Rémoulade:
- 3/4 cup (175ml) mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup (45g) minced dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons (10g) drained prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- For the Fish:
- 2 cups (10 ounces; 280g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces; 70g) cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons (10g) homemade or store-bought Creole seasoning
- 4 large eggs
- 4 (6-ounce; 170-gram) tilapia or catfish fillets, halved lengthwise along natural seam
- 2 quarts (1900ml) vegetable oil, for frying
- Kosher salt
- For Serving:
- 4 (10-inch) French or sub-style rolls, lightly toasted (see note)
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup dill pickle chips
For the Rémoulade: In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, minced pickles, horseradish, hot sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and garlic until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the Fish: In a medium bowl or shallow baking dish, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and Creole seasoning. In a second medium bowl or shallow baking dish, whisk together eggs and 1/3 cup flour mixture. The mixture should have the consistency of thick pancake batter. Adjust consistency with additional flour mixture if necessary. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
Working in batches, place fish fillets in flour mixture and toss to evenly coat. Shake off excess flour; transfer fish to egg mixture and turn to thoroughly coat. Allow excess batter to drip back into bowl, and then return fish to flour mixture. Press gently in flour mixture to help coating adhere; transfer to prepared wire rack. Repeat dredging process with remaining fillets. Refrigerate fish for 15 minutes.
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat to 375°F (190°C). Carefully add half the fish to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally with a spider skimmer, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer cooked fish to second wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt to taste. Repeat with remaining fillets.
For Serving: Open rolls and spread cut sides with rémoulade. Divide lettuce, tomatoes, pickle chips, and fish evenly among rolls. Serve immediately.
If you can find French-style po' boy rolls or Vietnamese baguettes used for banh mi sandwiches, use them. Otherwise, use regular sub or hoagie rolls. If the interior of the bread is very dense, scoop most of it out and discard it before building your po' boys.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Rémoulade can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Po' boys are best enjoyed right away.