Firecracker Shrimp Roll with Crab Aioli


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup lump crabmeat
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6soft sandwich rolls
  • 2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Combine mayonnaise, crab, garlic, salt, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and tarragon in a bowl for the crab aioli. Stir to combine and refrigerate until needed.


  • Step 2

    Remove tails from shrimp and keep chilled until ready to use.

  • Step 3

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  • Step 4

    Whisk buttermilk, hot sauce, chipotle pepper, cayenne, black pepper, and salt together in a bowl.

  • Step 5

    Mix flour, cornmeal, paprika, and salt together in a shallow dish for the breading.

  • Step 6

    Slice partway through each sandwich roll, splitting it open. Scoop out some bread from the top to make room for the filling.

  • Step 7

    Toast rolls in the preheated oven until crisp, 7 to 10 minutes.

  • Step 8

    Soak shrimp in the buttermilk mixture for about 5 minutes.

  • Step 9

    Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Spread crab aioli generously over both sides of each roll; top with sliced lettuce.

  • Step 10

    Toss shrimp in the breading to coat; shake off any excess. Fry shrimp in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and immediately transfer shrimp onto the rolls. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on top.

  • Chef's Note:

    I’m a big fan of the time-honored po’boy sandwich tradition of overfilling, so feel free to make four giant portions out of this.

    Editor's Notes:

    Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

    We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

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