The Po' Bao: A Food Mashup Done Right

By Carey Jones |

© Mark Nardecchia

Some punny food mashups just shouldn’t exist. No one needs a Quesarito. But sometimes two foods come together in way so perfect we are shocked it took this long for someone to think it. That is the case with the po’ bao at Saltine in Jackson, Mississippi.

Chef Jesse Houston is an unabashed oyster fan, so he chose a classic fried oyster po’boy as the inspiration for his experiment and stuffed the bivalve, along with all the classic New Orleans fixins into a pillowy steamed bun.  

The bread. Two soft, steamed bao, soft enough to chomp through in one fluid bite.

The filling: Fried oysters are the centerpiece, but you need to have your po’ bao dressed. In New Orleans parlance that means lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayo. Houston gives his an extra kick by swapping out everyday mayo for a Creole-spiced aioli. 

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