icon Classic New Orleans Seafood Gumbo

This is a classic example of the Creole haute cuisine of New Orleans. This is literally as New Orleanian as the Bouillabaisse is French or Weissbier is German. This is a great recipe that came originally from The Gumbo Pages, and we have added our own twists to it.


  • 1/2-1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2-1 cup flour
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 vine-ripened Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced (optional)
  • 1 cup tomato purée (optional)
  • 2 pounds okra, chopped (if filé powder is not used)
  • 4 quarts shrimp stock, crab stock or fish stock
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning blend
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 dozen oysters, freshly shucked, liquor reserved
  • 4 blue crabs, cleaned (optional)
  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 tablespoon filé powder (if okra is not used)
  • Salt
  • Sachet d'épices: In a small cheesecloth bag or tea ball, place:
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
    • A few parsley stems
    • 1 bayleaf
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 8 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • Tabasco Sauce

To make Roux:

  1. In a large, heavy pot (non-reactive, not a cast-iron one), heat the oil and add the flour. Stir constantly until a dark brown roux is formed. The roux is done when it has turned chocolate-brown and releases a slightly nutty fragrance.
  2. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. This will cool the roux down. It is safer not to add any broth until the hot oil in the roux has cooled down

To make the soup:

  1. Add a little of the stock and continue to sauté the mixture until the onions become translucent and the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée (optional), and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add then add the stock. Add the sachet d'épices (seasonings), and about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. With the gumbo on very low heat, add the okra and shrimp 10 minutes before serving, the oysters and oyster liquor 5 minutes before serving, and the crabmeat just before serving (don't cook the crabmeat, just stir until it is heated through). For a more rustic gumbo, you may add whole blue crabs. Remove the hard top shell from the crabs (reserving for stuffed crabs or for shellfish stock), and break each crab in two down the middle. Remove the claws. Add to the stock.
  4. Taste and correct seasonings.
  5. Place about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of rice in each bowl and ladle the gumbo over and around it. Sprinkle with filé powder, if desided. Season with Tabaso sauce, or any other pepper sauce from Louisiana or the Caribbean.Serve with plenty of french bread and good beer, pinot noir, zinfandel, riesling or a rich chardonnay.
  6. YIELD: About 10-12 entrée servings or 20-24 appetizer servings (omit hard shell crabs if serving cups of gumbo as an appetizer).

Seafood gumbo at Mr. B's BistroRadim and Lisa's Seafood Gumbo

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Last updated: October 12, 2010