Firecracker Shrimp Roll with Crab Aioli


Inspired by a shrimp po'boy with crab mayo seen on 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,' I decided to do an extra spicy version and give it a 4th of July-friendly name. The result is an explosively flavored combination of hot, crunchy shrimp and cold crabby mayo. This was one of the best things I've had in a long time, and that's after eating it barely warm; for best results, though, be sure to enjoy this just as soon as it's safe to eat, in all its crunchy glory.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
6 servings


For the 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

For the Soak:

  • 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

For the Breading:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • cup cornmeal

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 6 soft sandwich rolls

  • 2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce

  • canola oil for frying

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper


  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  8. Soak shrimp in the buttermilk mixture for about 5 minutes.

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

  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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

993 Calories
61g Fat
74g Carbs
41g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 993
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 61g 78%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 237mg 79%
Sodium 2393mg 104%
Total Carbohydrate 74g 27%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 236mg 18%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 439mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love