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Fried Green Tomato Po-Boy Recipe

Fried Green Tomato Po' Boy Recipe

One of my favorite things about summer is the wide and abundant availability of tomatoes. Tomatoes are seriously one of my favorite veggies of all time. I like them prepared pretty much any way. I’m not really all that picky. But along with the ripe, juicy red tomatoes, I also have a tender spot in my heart for the less commonly found green tomato. Yes, every tomato starts as a green tomato, but not every shopper has a chance to snap up these green delights. Today I’ve got a super special treat for you – a fried green tomato po-boy recipe. Oh yes, read on!

Let’s talk first about what a po-boy is. I realize I have some non-Southern readers here and while I can only assume most people know what a po-boy is, perhaps there are some who don’t. Let me enlighten you. It’s actually quite simple: a po-boy is basically the New Orleans version of a subway sandwich. That’s not doing the po-boy near enough justice, but that puts it in relatable terms. The po-boy is a 20th century invention that started a cheap way to feed city streetcar workers on strike. (Read the whole history here). However, once these sammies hit the scene, they were fairly popular and stuck around. Now one couldn’t imagine New Orleans, or South Louisiana cuisine generally, without them.

Fried Green Tomato Po' Boy Recipe

I have been wanting to make this fried green tomato po-boy for the blog for quite a while. I’ve made these before for me and Jeremy, but finally I realized that I was remiss in not having the recipe on my blog. While fried isn’t the only way you can have green tomatoes (check out this fabulous green tomato salsa verde recipe by my friend The Saucy Southerner), it’s definitely the most common way people consume them or have eaten them, if they’ve at all eaten them. I guess we can probably all thank Fannie Flagg and a little book/movie of the same name. Oh, we watched that SO MANY TIMES growing up. Ah, the memories, they are plentiful.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand: fresh tasty green tomatoes. For this recipe to be at its absolute tastiest, it’s important that you use fresh, firm, GREEN tomatoes. Tomatoes that are red or even mostly red are too ripe, too watery, and will be too mushy to make a good po-boy. You can see in my photo below that I have included one that is red and green. That one is not suitable for this po-boy. For best results, use tomatoes that are no more than 20% red. The greener the better in this case. Those mostly red, partially green tomatoes will make a great salad or snack but not a great fried green tomato po-boy. You might have noticed my tomato looks a little “red” in that close-up photo above. It is a bit red because I fried up that slightly red tomato below first and used it to photograph the final dish. I was stunned at how red they came out. Always, always use the greenest tomatoes you can find!

How to Choose Green Tomatoes for a Fried Green Tomato Po' Boy

Let’s also note that if you’re averse to frying in your house, this recipe probably isn’t for you, unless you’ve got an outdoor cooking situation going on, which is smart and envied by all of us who don’t have that. I have a small FryDaddy, and if you fry at least four times per year, they are worth the cost. The smallest ones are $30 and can be found anywhere small appliances are sold. They’re worth the money simply because of how easy and relatively clean they make frying. Always a good thing.

The ingredients for this recipe are pretty simple. Ideally, you could get New Orleans-style crispy and dry (in a good way) French bread for your po-boy. Many of you will not have that option, and I weep for you in my heart because this is the best bread for sandwiches containing fried foods. Leidenheimer’s is our preferred brand here in New Orleans, and oh-so-happily, our local Whole Foods locations now sell them in consumer-friendly sizes. By that I mean as opposed to their service industry sizes which are 32 inches long (I called and asked) and meant for people who cook and sell po-boys all day long. Even the consumer-ready size is good enough for four sandwiches. Pretty good stuff, IMHO.

Fried Green Tomato Po' Boy Recipe

New Orleans-style French bread is perfect for po-boys because it’s light enough to absorb the oil but sturdy enough to not crumble in your hands. Some type of sub roll or an Italian bread loaf would work as an acceptable substitute. Really, you just want the lightest and crispiest bread you can find. None of that thick, doughy, soft, non-crusty stuff. Nope, not here. You can probably tell that New Orleanians and people from South Louisiana in general are very particular and have specific preferences about their French bread. It’s a way of life here and people take it quite seriously, as they should.

Besides the bread, which is the star of the show alongside the fried green tomatoes, all you need is thinly sliced red onion, some Remoulade sauce (try my recipe for a special treat) or mayo (if that’s all you have), and finely shredded lettuce. Po-boys don’t use lettuce leaves like sandwiches and burgers typically do. Po-boy lettuce should be finely shredded, kind of like cabbage for a coleslaw. Why? I really don’t know *exactly* but I can venture to guess that it just makes it easier and more pleasant to eat. Typically iceberg lettuce is used on po-boys and shredded is definitely a preferable way to eating that sad, tasteless green. I used green leaf lettuce here but did shred it as per tradition.

Fried Green Tomato Po' Boy Recipe

So there you have it. In all it’s splendor, the fried green tomato po-boy. This is a po-boy that pretty much everyone can get behind. The vegetarians tend to love it because it’s meatless (and tasty!). The carnivores accept it because it’s fried green tomatoes and still a po-boy, and that’s generally okay by most. I love this because it’s a great way to have a po-boy and my delectable fried green tomatoes all in one. A po-boy is a highly efficient fuel delivery system, and I love them so dearly. Bon appetit, y’all. 😉

What about you? Are you a fan of fried green tomatoes? What’s your favorite way to have them? Ever had them po-boy-style? Let me know below! I love hearing tales of delicious fried things, especially green tomatoes.

Yield: 4 servings

Fried Green Tomato Po' Boy Recipe

This fried green tomato po' boy recipe is easy to make and oh so delicious. Simply fry the tomatoes, dress the sandwich and serve!

Ingredients:

Fried Green Tomatoes:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 2 cups canola oil + more if needed
  • 1 3/4 to 2 lbs. green tomatoes (preferably Creole tomatoes), sliced 1/8” thick
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling

Building the Po’ Boys:

  • 1 loaf French bread (preferably Leidenheimer’s brand), divided into four smaller loaves, each cut horizontally
  • 1/2 recipe Remoulade sauce
  • 1 recipe fried green tomatoes (above)
  • 1 cup finely shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • Optional garnish: Pickle spears
  • Optional garnish: Kettle cooked potato chips

Method:

  1. If you don’t have the remoulade made already, do so now. (Prep time factors in the time to make the remoulade sauce). Refrigerate until ready to use. NOTE: The original recipe states two hours to chill the remoulade sauce, but you can use it before then.
  2. From the Fried Green Tomatoes section, combine the eggs, milk, Creole mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder in mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  3. Spread the corn flour on a dinner-sized plate.
  4. One by one, dip the tomato slices in the milk/egg mixture with one hand and place on the plate with the corn flour. With the other hand, coat the tomato in corn flour so that it’s covered completely. Shake off the excess and lay the breaded tomatoes out on a sheet pan in a single layer. Repeat until all the tomato slices are breaded. If you must stack the tomatoes, use parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking.
  5. Heat oil to 350 ºF. Cook the tomatoes in ample oil and don’t crowd the cooking vessel. The tomatoes should take about 2 1/2 minutes per batch. Flip them halfway through cooking time to ensure even cooking.
  6. Once the tomatoes are out of the oil, place on plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with kosher salt when they’re fresh from the fryer.
  7. To build a po’boy, slather the French bread with remoulade sauce. Stack 4 or so tomato slices on the bottom of the bread. Top with lettuce and red onions.
  8. Serve with a pickle spear and/or kettle cooked potato chips.

Prep:30 min

Cook:15 min

Total:45 min

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  • I want this sandwich. Right. Now. *ded* P~

  • I love when you publish these types of recipes, because to me they seem so involved and complicated but really turn out to be quite simple. Looks delicious!

    • I’m so glad you like it, Katherine! 🙂 And you’re right about the seemingly complicated being quite simple. I don’t know how that happens but it does! 🙂 I’m grateful for it, too because it makes my time in the kitchen easier!

  • What a champ of an idea. I love fried green tomatoes. It never occurred to me to make a poor boy out of it. I am thrilled with the idea.

    • Yay, I’m so glad, Carol! 🙂 Please let me know how you like it!

  • I just had a fried green tomato sandwich for brunch last week! It had roasted red peppers, some pepper jack cheese, arugula and some aioli, it was fabulous! I must try your version before the tomatoes ripen!

    • Wow, that sandwich sounds great, Laura! Yum!! I love all of those things but never had them put all together like that. Great idea! Please do let me know how you like my sandwich. It’s a favorite at our house! 🙂

  • I can’t even find green tomatoes at the farmers market, and I’ve only got one tomato so far from my tiny plant! People need to start selling them green on the West Coast.

    • Yes, seriously! They are so good. 🙂 They’re pretty much a blank canvas to work magic on! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Aren’t green tomatos just stunning! I’ve never had them before, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for them. Lovely photos!

    • Thanks, Tori! 🙂 Green tomatoes are such a treat, I just love ’em. Definitely keep your eye out for them. And thanks for your compliment on my photos. It’s been a work in progress and I am finally getting happy with my quality! 🙂 Cheers!

  • It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve discovered my deep love for fried green tomatoes, and they’ve become a bit of an obsession. This po’ boy looks so fantastic. It’s on the kitchen to-do list. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    • Of course, thanks so much for your comment! Fried green tomatoes are such a special treat – one of my favorite things to eat for sure, either alone or on a po’ boy like this. YUM! 🙂

  • Green tomatoes are SO hard to come by on the West Coast. You have to know someone with a plant, or grow them yourself. I really wanted to make a burger with fried green tomatoes for a 4thof July party and I was out of luck.
    These look fantastic.

    • Thanks, Jackie! Growing your own might be a good option. Are you much of a gardener? I dabble in it but have never tried tomatoes. 😉