Seafood Gumbo

EatingWell Originally Published September 19, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated September 18, 2013 at 11:08 a.m.
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Seafood Gumbo

Gumbo, a hearty stew made with anything from sausage or duck to rabbit or seafood, starts with a roux — a mix of flour and oil that’s cooked until it turns dark and nutty, giving the stew recipe its signature earthy flavor. This crab and shrimp gumbo recipe comes from Eula Mae Dore, who was the cook at the Commissary on Avery Island, home to the makers of Tabasco sauce. Just as most cooks of her generation did, she learned Cajun cooking by watching, rather than from cookbooks. Serve with brown rice.

Seafood Gumbo

Recipe adapted from Eula Mae’s Cajun Kitchen, by Eula Mae Dore and Marcelle R. Bienvenu, Harvard Common Press, 2007.

Makes 8 servings

Active time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Total time: 2 1/4 hours


5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound okra, fresh or frozen (thawed), trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped green bell peppers

1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onions

1 1/4 cups chopped scallions, divided

1 cup chopped celery

1 clove garlic, minced

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

2 cups seafood stock or water

1/2 cup cubed boiled deli ham

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 pound peeled, deveined raw shrimp (26-30)

1/2 pound lump crabmeat (any shells or cartilage removed)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add okra and cook, stirring often, until it starts to turn dark brown (18 to 22 minutes). Add vinegar and cook, stirring frequently, until the okra is browned and no longer has “sticky strings” attached, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring slowly and constantly, until the mixture smells very toasty and is the color of peanut butter (5 to 10 minutes).

Add bell peppers, onions, 1 cup scallions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and lightly golden (10 to 12 minutes). Stir in the okra, tomatoes, stock (or water), ham, bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire, hot sauce and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a slow, steady simmer, for 45 minutes.

Add shrimp and crabmeat to the pot and simmer, uncovered, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Garnish with parsley and the remaining scallions.

Recipe nutrition per serving: 246 calories; 10 grams fat (1 gram saturated, 6 grams monounsaturated); 109 milligrams cholesterol; 21 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams added sugars; 20 grams protein; 5 grams fiber; 731 milligrams sodium; and 686 milligrams potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (92 percent daily value), folate (25 percent DV), iron (24 percent DV), potassium (20 percent DV) and Vitamin A (19 percent DV).

Exchanges: 3 vegetable, 2 lean meat and 2 fat.

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