There’s just something about the po’boy that we can’t get enough of. Hailing from New Orleans, this fish sandwich is crispy, creamy, and a little bit briny—and this version stays true to the classic, save for a slightly lighter spin. Tilapia is pan-fried instead of deep-fried, dressed with rémoulade sauce, and served with baked zucchini chips and a classic Louisiana condiment: Crystal hot sauce.
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 baking sheets
12″ large nonstick pan
1½ pounds zucchini
2 romaine hearts
1 cup sliced dill pickles, divided
1 tablespoon capers
1 cup flour
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1¼ pounds tilapia
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 French bread rolls
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce
You’ll use 1½ lemons in the rémoulade. Save the remainder for squeezing over the po’boys before serving!
Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse all produce. Thinly slice zucchini crosswise into coins, discarding ends. Thinly slice 4 romaine leaves crosswise and set aside for topping sandwiches. Save remaining lettuce for another meal. Halve lemons (see Recipe Tip). Mince enough pickles to yield 2 tablespoons and add to a medium bowl. Reserve remaining pickles for serving. Finely chop capers and add to bowl with minced pickle.
On a baking sheet, toss zucchini with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper as desired. Divide between 3 separate baking sheets and arrange in an even layer, spacing apart as much as possible (doing so will help zucchini roast instead of steam). If you don’t have 3 baking sheets, work in batches as needed. Roast zucchini chips until browned and crisping, 18-20 minutes.
While zucchini roasts, place flour on a large plate. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place breadcrumbs on a separate large plate. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Pat tilapia dry with paper towel and halve each fillet lengthwise. Season with spice mix, as much cayenne as desired, and 1 teaspoon salt. Dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.
Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add tilapia and sear, working in batches and adding more oil as needed, until crust is browned and fish is cooked through and opaque, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
While tilapia sears, slice rolls open horizontally, splitting partway but leaving intact. Wrap in foil and place in oven to warm through until serving, at least 5 minutes.
Add mayonnaise, juice of 1½ lemons, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to bowl with capers and pickle and stir to combine. Divide half of rémoulade among rolls, saving remainder for dipping. Layer rolls with fish, thinly sliced romaine, remaining pickle slices, and hot sauce, if desired. Serve crispy fish po’boys with zucchini chipsand remaining rémoulade.