Oyster Po Boys

, from Issue #28. September, 2015
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Oyster Po Boys


12-18 oysters
vegetable oil for cooking

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder and dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup instant, quick cook polenta

To serve
6 soft white rolls, warmed
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
soft lettuce leaves
lemon wedges


Combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk the egg and milk in another bowl and season. Put the polenta in a third bowl.

Toss the oysters in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in the egg then toss through the polenta. Place on a tray and repeat with the remaining oysters.

Heat 3 cm of oil in a small, deep saucepan until it registers 170˚C on a deep fry thermometer.

Cook the oysters in batches for about 1 minute, until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels. Place in a warm oven while cooking the remaining oysters.

To serve: Combine the mayonnaise and lemon zest. Halve the rolls and spread both sides with mayonnaise. Line the rolls with lettuce leaves and top with the oysters. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Makes 6.

Po’boy: There are many stories of how the po’boy got its name. They all relate to a New Orleans tradition; a loaf of French bread filled with fried oysters. The word “po’boy” is thought to be a derivative of “poor boy” as the loaves were given free to workers by a local restaurant during a workers’ strike in 1929. Although originally filled with leftover gravy and roast beef trimmings, oysters, a cheap food back then, soon became popular.