This Shrimp Louie is not a true “Louie”. First off, it’s not made with crab. It could be. But I didn’t have crab so I used shrimp.
I’ve taken other liberties too. So many liberties that I’m not sure my friends in San Fransisco would even recognize this version of the King of Salads (as its been known in that city since as early as 1914).
San Franciscans recognize only a few particular ingredients when it comes to Crab Louie: crab meat, tomato, asparagus, and hard boiled eggs. It should be served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a Louie dressing of mayonnaise and chili sauce on the side (always on the side). Other ingredients such as pickles, olives and green onions have made it onto the plate in some recipes I’ve seen. But I’ve also seen quite a few Golden-Gaters raise their eyebrows at these accoutrements, so it’s hard to know what to think.
Looking at my recipe it’s easy to see just how many rules I’ve broken. So in deference to the original, I’m going to call this Crabless Shrimp “Louie” an L.A. Louie. I think the avocado makes it particularly Southern Californian. I’ve also used Sriracha sauce in the dressing. Most recipes for the Northern Californian Louies I’ve seen require some sort of hot sauce to be mixed in the mayonnaise. They don’t necessarily specify what kind of hot sauce, but L.A. claims Sriracha as a hometown hero so it seems an appropriate addition to this L.A. Louie. You’ll also notice that despite all the raised eyebrows on Market Street, I used pickles in my Shrimp Louie.
Oh, it gets even stranger. I’ve replaced the hard-boiled eggs with ruby red grapefruit. Which I suppose leaves open the argument that this “Louie” is a Texas Louie. But I find that argument ridiculous. I live in Los Angeles. This Shrimp Louie is therefore obviously an L.A. Louie. GREG