Seafood Gumbo


Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen

Published by Harvard Common Press

NotesMaking shrimp stock is quite easy. If you are able to get fresh shrimp with their heads and shells on, do so. Simply break off the heads and peel the shrimp. Put the heads and peelings in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover them. You can add the peelings of yellow onions (to give the stock a wonderful golden color) as well as a rib or two of celery (coarsely chopped). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Strain in a colander or sieve and there you have it. The stock can be stored in an airtight container (or in several small ones) in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Eula Mae’s Method for Cooking Rice

For each cup of uncooked rice (1 cup raw = 3 cups cooked), add 2 cups cold water to a saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon butter. All this goes in at once. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until all liquid evaporates and the rice is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Makes6 to 8 servings


Total Timeunder 2 hours

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free




  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound medium-size fresh okra, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch-thick round, or one 16-ounce package frozen sliced okra, thawed
  • 4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1¼ cups chopped green onions (green and white parts)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups seeded and chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Two 16-ounce can-whole tomatoes with their liquid, chopped
  • 1 cup cubed boiled ham
  • 2 cups shrimp stock (see Notes) or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco brand pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • Hot cooked long grain white rice (see Notes)


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium-size skillet (not a cast-iron skillet, because it will cause the okra to discolor) over medium heat. Add the okra and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until the okra is no longer ropey or slimy and is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  2. In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat for 2 minutes and add the flour. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly, to make a dark brown roux (see Eula Mae’s advice on making a roux). Add the yellow onions, 1 cup of the green onions, the garlic, bell peppers, celery, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley and, cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ham, okra, shrimp stock, bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

  3. Add the shrimp and crabmeat and simmer until the shrimp turn pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme. Garnish with the remaining ¼ cup green onions and 1 tablespoon parsley.

  4. Serve the gumbo over rice and pass additional Tabasco at the table.


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A link of Andouille sausage (spicy pork sausage will work, but Andouille adds a distinctive flavor) cut into 1/4 in. slices will ramp up the flavor. The roux is very important and the darker it gets without taking on a burnt flavor, the better. It can be started on a medium heat to save time, stirring very often to keep it browning evenly without burning, As soon as it begins to take on a caramel color, reduce the heat to low and cook slowly, stirring constantly. When adding water to thin it, make sure the water is hot and added slowly while stirring constantly to prevent lumping.


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