Seafood Yumbo

See how I manipulated ‘gumbo’ and made it bearily by saying ‘yumbo’? I’m so witty.

Seafood gumbo is a cherished dish from N’Awlins (New Orleans). Is it a soup? A stew? No, it’s so much more.

Some notes:

  • The most important part of gumbo is the ‘roux’ which is flour and oil. This is the base of the gumbo and you want it to get nice and thick before adding the other ingredients.
  • This is a weekend meal. It takes a lot of prep and patience.
  • I recommend that you saute the okra. Let me tell you what okra looks like when you don’t saute it. It looks like baby alien pods that are slimy and disgusting and it slops out of the packet in a gooey mess. So. Saute it.
  • The file is the seasoning that thickens the gumbo and adds the overall ZEST and flava.
  • This recipe calls for a TON of ingredients, but don’t be scared. You probably have most of the seasonings already. As with most recipes, the pain is in the prep. Start at the beginning, and when you get to the end…stop.

Spicy Seafood Gumbo

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 8 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth, canned or from base
  • 2 large cans (28 ounces each) tomatoes, diced
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen okra, sliced, thawed
  • 1 pound crab claws
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 large dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried leaf thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried leaf basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds shrimp, medium, unpeeled
  • 1 quart oysters, undrained
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 pound fish fillets, such as catfish or other firm white fish, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • hot cooked rice
  • file powder, optional
  • Combine oil and flour in a heavy skillet; cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until roux is dark. Be very careful to keep the roux from scorching. Stir in onion, celery, and garlic; cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Transfer mixture to a Dutch oven or large kettle. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, okra, crab claws, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, sage, and pepper; simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

    Peel and devein shrimp. Add shrimp, oysters, crab meat, and fish to the pot; simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve gumbo over hot cooked rice and, if desired, sprinkle with file.

    Sidenote: I did not used the crab claws or fish fillets.

    I suggest freezing the leftovers (if there are any HAYO).