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Seafood Gumbo

Classic South Louisiana cuisine. Start with a dark roux and a rich seafood stock, then add crab, oysters and shrimp!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun, Creole
Keyword: seafood gumbo
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 452kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 2 cups yellow onions chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup okra chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • ½ cup parsley chopped
  • 8 cups seafood stock

Seafood

  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 3 gumbo crabs
  • 1 pint oysters

Herb and Spice Blend

  • 2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasonings plus some for the seafood
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Here's What You Do

  • Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp. Pat dry and sprinkle with some Creole seasoning and set aside.
  • Cut the gumbo crabs in half (head to toe) and sprinkle some creole seasonings over them and set aside.
  • Chop the trinity and place it in one prep bowl. Chop the garlic, the green onions and the parsley and place them in individual prep bowls. Place the freshly chopped or frozen okra into a prep bowl. Mix together the Herb and Spice Blend and set aside. Measure the stock, vegetable oil and AP flour.
  • Place the seafood stock in a large stockpot and set the heat to low.
  • Place a cast iron dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the oil and allow it to become very hot.
  • Sprinkle the AP flour into the oil and whisk constantly to make a smooth dark roux. About 10 minutes
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and add the trinity (yellow onions, bell peppers and celery) to the roux and stir to combine. Once combined, return the Dutch oven to medium heat and stir regualrly until it starts to caramelize about 15 minutes.
  • Add the okra and saute another 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and about half of the Herb and Spice Blend, mix well until you can smell the garlic, about 3 minutes,
  • Add the green onions and saute another 5 minutes.
  • While that is simmering, bring the stock to a heavy boil in the stockpot.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the heat.
  • Using a slotted spoon, desolve the roux mixture into the rapidly boiling stock, one spoonful at a time. Stir each spoonful until it is fully incorporated into the stock before repeating the process.
  • When all of the roux-mixture has been incorporated into the stock, reduce the heat slightly to maintain a steady, low boil for about 10 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to a low simmer. Cover the stockpot and maintain a low simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the cover and add the gumbo crabs and stir well. Replace the cover and simmer another 15 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to a medium boil. Add the oysters with their juice, the lump crab meat and the shrimp. These should all be added by hand, a little at a time allowing the gumbo to return to a boil between additions.
  • Once all the seafood has been added, continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the gumbo from the heat. Serve with cooked white rice.

Notes

For a more detailed explanation of the process, read my Seafood Gumbo article. If you have questions or comments, leave them below.
How do I serve gumbo?
Serve it like soup, in a bowl. Gumbo is generally served with cooked, white rice. How much rice is a matter of personal preference, but the rice is either added to the bowl with gumbo ladled on top of it, or the gumbo goes in first and the rice is scooped on top. Some restaurants (and this is a good way to do it) serves the rice on the side so you can spoon in as much as you want or not include it at all. 
What goes with gumbo?
Potato Salad is a very common side with gumbo and some folks (mainly from German influence) add the potato salad directly to the gumbo in lieu of rice. A nice green salad, like my Sensation Salad, goes well with gumbo. It’s mandatory to serve some crispy french bread.
What are gumbo crabs?
“Gumbo crabs”  are primarily used for seasoning in stock and gumbo. They are hard-shell crabs with the top shell removed and the cavity with the gills cleaned out. The legs and claws are still attached. These are generally smaller crabs that would not yield good lump meat but they pack all the flavor of larger crabs. They are sold frozen in seafood markets. Check out Cajungrocer.com for some (I am not an affiliate of Cajungrocer.com but I know they provide quality products and services).
Do I need fresh shrimp?
No, you can use frozen shrimp if that’s what you have, I recommend using lots of small to medium-size shrimp. Read this article about shrimp sizes. Using fresh shrimp is a little more work but definitely worth the trouble. Besides the freshness, the shells and heads can be used to make a wonderful stock.
 Do I need lump crabmeat?
My favorites are lump or jumbo lump, but besides being harder to find, they can break the bank. You can use backfin or even claw meat and still have an extremely enjoyable Seafood Gumbo.
Do I need homemade stock?
Commercial stock can be substituted for homemade. Don’t just use plain water because the stock is an essential layer of flavor that I believe is necessary. 
What about leftovers?
You can refrigerate gumbo for about 3 or 4 days. Reheat in a saucepan or the microwave to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Gumbo will last about 4 to 6 months in the freezer, again if it’s stored in an airtight container. Make sure to leave some headroom for expansion when it freezes. Defrost it overnight in the fridge or in a bowl of cold water, which is changed every 30 minutes. Reheating is the same, stovetop or microwave. I do not recommend refreezing once it has been defrosted. For that reason, you may consider freezing in small quantities. 

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 250mg | Sodium: 2117mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1135IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 4mg

This recipe came from First...You Have a Beer (www.firstyouhaveabeer.com). If you like it, please leave a 5 star rating and a comment on the site and, most importantly, SHARE it with your friends.