This flavorful gumbo is packed with a variety of shellfish, including oysters, shrimp, and crab. It's thick and filling thanks to the generous amounts of veggies like beloved okra, which adds texture and an earthy flavor. Our version is seafood only but you can adjust the meats to your liking, maybe all shrimp when these crustaceous are in season, or just crab meat or mussels with the addition of sausage.
Gumbo is a traditional Lousiana dish in which Spanish, French, African, German and Native American traditions come to life. Each of these cultures brought a similar dish to the area and gumbo is a combination of all of them, if not a by-product of the interchange that happened between locals and immigrants. Don't miss out on the chance to try a spoonful of delicious history with a bowl of this satisfying seafood stew, irresistible with a side of white rice.
- 1/4 cup medium roux
- 2 large onions (chopped)
- 3 cups okra (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 quarts water
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup parsley (finely chopped)
- 6 to 8 green onions (finely chopped)
- 2 pounds shrimp
- 1 cup oysters
- 1 cup crab meat
- 6 crab claws
In a large saucepan add the shrimp to the hot roux and cook for a few minutes. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat up the oil and cook the okra and onions until the onions are transparent and fragrant and the okra is just becoming tender.
Add tomatoes and garlic to the okra and onion mixture. Cook a few more minutes, adding the water, salt, and pepper.
Combine the shrimp and roux mixture with the okra mixture in the bigger pan. Simmer the stew for about 10 minutes. Add oysters, crab meat, and crab claws and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
Add the parsley and green onions and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Once the stew is ready and thick, serve with a side of cooked rice and add garnish with additional parsley and green onions.
How to Make a Great Gumbo
If you're a gumbo novice, here are a few tips to achieve a delicious stew:
- Roux is the key; make your roux with patience, starting with melted butter and then adding the flour, allowing the mixture to bubble a little to get rid of the floury flavor. Mix well, adding the cold liquid a little at a time, until you've achieved the desired color.
- Always use fresh seafood and meats; prefer seafood that is in-season because you can't beat its freshness and price. But if what you have is chicken, duck, fish, or sausage, use what's fresh. The same goes for okra: favor fresh okra to frozen.
- Low and steady win the race; know your stove and keep a gentle and steady simmer throughout the cooking process to ensure a thick gumbo. Stir occasionally but not too much.