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seafood andouille gumbo

Recipe: seafood andouille gumbo

Thanks to all of the good folks who entered to win a Wii console and a Wii Fit Plus package! While we normally have Kaweah pick our giveaway winners, we gave her a break this time. Actually, it’s because we weren’t sure if the Kaweah Method would pass muster with the law-talkin’ guys at Nintendo. But honestly, if you’ve ever met Kaweah, you’d realize right away that she is truly random.


So let’s get on with it! gave us 393 out of 516 comments. Our winner is comment #393 – Karna! Congratulations Karna! I’ll contact you via email to get your mailing address so Nintendo can FedEx your cool and exciting new system to you! I have to say I was really impressed that so many of you want to get active and fit. Even if you didn’t win the system, I still encourage you to get out there and do something. Whether you buy a Wii of your own or just start walking with friends, doing some exercises in your own home, trying out some yoga classes, or signing up for some sports teams to get you engaged and moving – it’s good for you. I’m cheering you on from here!

I was feeling pretty good on Friday, then had a big crash and burn Saturday (I am told it is not uncommon to hit a wall on the third day after surgery). Reality never seems to be able to keep up with the plans I have in my head. By the way, thanks for all of your sweet recovery wishes. I think I’m finally on the mend. At least I was feeling good enough for us to run a few errands in town and meet up with friends at The Kitchen Upstairs (part of The Kitchen) for Tasting Hour.

jeremy tried a flight

two of my favorite things: food and friends

Cold, fat rain drops plopped on my head as we stepped into a gray and wet Pearl Street. I like the rain. I guess I wasn’t this enthusiastic about it when I lived in Ithaca, NY. There is such a thing as too much rain. Here in the West, the rain is a nice change up from our typical gorgeous and sunny weather. Boulder is right at the transition into Spring where that bright green fuzz you see on the trees will burst into full on leaves in the next week. I drove us home in the rain, then the slush, then the snow. When we let Kaweah out for the night, it was snowing at a good clip.

takes my breath away every time i see it

What better weather for a hot bowl of gumbo? I’ve had this recipe dog-eared for a long time and I figured I’d make it when I thought to look for fresh okra. Lo and behold, I found it at H-Mart last week! Considering that I don’t even know when okra season is, this was a magical thing. I grabbed a pound of the stuff. I call it the stuff because I’ve never cooked okra before and I’ve only had it on three occasions – once by accident (the NASA Langley cafeteria – that was interesting), once in a sushi bar (tempura fried, can anything be bad if it is tempura fried?), and once pickled because my friend Melinda is crazy about pickled okra.

onion, pepper, green onions, okra, tomatoes

okra looks happy, doesn’t it?

I set about gathering shrimp and crab and andouille sausage. Nothing gets me going like a hearty spicy stew. I chose this recipe because I had never made shrimp stock before. It looked intriguing. I love using scraps to make more food and the stock was simple water, the shrimp shells, the celery trimmings, and the onion skin. Nice.

shelling and deveining the shrimp

let’s make shrimp stock

The original recipe called for oysters, but I wanted andouille sausage – so I ousted the oysters for the andouille because I thought both would be too much. Plus, I didn’t really see any good fresh oysters in the stores.

crab, shrimp, and andouille

straining the broth

The broth was golden and aromatic, which got me really excited about the gumbo. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to ditch the photos and finish making the dish so I could sit down and have a bowl. The recipe doesn’t actually take very long to make if you aren’t shooting it. Prep time and then an hour at most for cooking?

frying the okra

pre-cook both the sausage and okra

A lot of people have an aversion to okra because it is slimy. I guess it *is* slimy, but I like it. To reduce the sliminess, the recipe suggests frying up the okra slices until they are browned. Supposedly this cuts down on the unpleasant texture. My take on it is that the browning can only add more flavor to the gumbo – so why not? I browned the andouille too because that’s a no-brainer.

make the roux

sauté onions, celery, and peppers

Everything up to this point was prep. You really start with a roux. I cooked my roux to a nice caramel color and added the onions per the instructions. They said it would turn a chocolate brown. I waited a long time and it still looked like caramel. At this point, my kitchen was a mess, I had flour on my camera, and I was getting cranky. I called it good and moved on. See what food blogging does to your culinary standards?

stirring in the broth and other goodies

just before serving, add the shrimp and crab

The rest was easy though. Add the broth, vegetables, sausage, and seasonings. Simmer. Stir in the lovely seafood. Kaweah kept walking into the kitchen raising her schnoz high in the air to get a whiff. White rice is the traditional accompaniment, but we’ve moved to mostly short grain brown rice here. Place a scoop of rice in the bowl, ladle that gumbo goodness on top and you have Happy in a Bowl right there. Don’t forget the extra hot sauce on the side!

ladle over rice

I was already enamored with the recipe from the moment I strained the shrimp broth. When I served it to Jeremy, I thought he might balk at the okra, but he loved it – all of it. Now I just need to find a proper supply of okra.

gumbo yum-bo

Seafood Andouille Gumbo
[print recipe]
modified from Fine Cooking issue #90: Poppy Tooker’s Seafood Gumbo

1.5 lbs. medium shrimp with shells on (or 2 lbs. medium shrimp with heads on)
2 cups onion, medium dice (about 1 large onion, reserve the skin)
1 cup celery, medium dice (2-3 stalks, reserve the trimmings)
1/4 cup + 6 tbsps vegetable oil
1 lb. fresh or frozen (thawed) okra, sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 lb. fresh or pasteurized lump crabmeat
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsps kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
8 oz. andouille sausage, diced (here Poppy calls for shucked oysters, but I didn’t have them and I prefer andouille – thus the substitution)
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
Louisiana-style hot sauce, to taste
1/4 cup hot cooked white rice per serving (I used short-grain brown rice)

Shrimp Stock: Peel the shrimp (remove heads and devein as necessary). Place the shrimp in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. Combine the shrimp peels and heads with the onion skin and celery trimmings in a large pot. Cover with 9 cups of cold water over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to an active simmer and let cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve the broth (about 2 quarts).

Okra: Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a wide sauté pan. Sauté the okra until the edges become lightly browned (about 3-5 minutes). Let them sit for the first two minutes or so until they brown, then start tossing them over to brown evenly. Drain of any extra oil and set aside.

Andouille: In the same pan as you used for the okra, heat the sausage on high and stir around until the sides have browned. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Heat 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. When it’s hot, add the flour and stir with a wooden utensil or heatproof spatula until the roux becomes caramel colored. This takes about 5 minutes. Toss in the onions and stir until the mixture becomes chocolate brown in color (mine never achieved this color – it was more like light brown). Add celery, pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft. Pour in the shrimp stock, okra, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and andouille. Reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Five minutes before serving, stir in the shrimp, the lump crabmeat, and green onions. Add hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Spoon gumbo over 1/4 cup of cooked rice per serving. Makes 3 quarts. Serves 6 to 8.

44 nibbles at “seafood andouille gumbo”

  1. Maria says:

    Kaweah is so precious. Love that photo! Congrats to the winner. Glad you are feeling better. Good food and friends are the cure all!

  2. Whitney says:

    As a half-cajun (mom’s side) I HEART GUMBO. She usually makes a chicken/sausage kind but once we made some with dungeness crab meat from Seattle. Delicious….

  3. jackie says:

    this recipe looks AWESOME!

    in NC, okra season is the dead of summer–so a good supply should be on the way in the next few months. it’s good battered with egg and cornmeal and fried in bacon fat and pepper, which is how my grandfather always made it–he’d slice it, shake it in a paper bag with the egg, pepper, salt, and cornmeal and fry it on super-high heat. very tasty, but not great FOR you, or course. it’s also fantastic tossed with a tiny amount of olive oil and roasted with a little salt, and a boatload black or cayenne pepper. roast on 425 for 5 min a side, just till it’s starting to get soft. yum.

  4. Kitt says:

    That looks awesome! I love okra; never understood the objections to it.

    So glad you’re feeling better.

  5. Jason Janelle says:


  6. Justine says:

    The weather is warming up here in LA (FINALLY), but that gumbo looks amazing for a frosty day! Glad you’re feeling better too!

  7. Memoria says:

    Congrats to the winner!!! So lucky!

    I don’t like gumbo, but your gumbo looks fantastic!

  8. Nhiro says:

    I’m bookmarking this. I’ve been missing NOLA cuisine ever since I went last summer — I’m sure this will hit the spot. Thanks.

  9. Jill says:

    Congrats to the winner! Hope you feel better every day!
    I love your photos and blog, as always….I am especially impressed by the uniform celery, onion and pepper dice!

    ps- what a sweet pooch!

  10. peabody says:

    Kaweah is just melting my heart in that photo!

  11. Pam says:

    Where did you find okra this time of year? I live in Maryland and have to grow my own to get good quality but it means having it in July/Aug. I’m so jealous, former GA girl that loves okra. P.S. Kawaeh is a beautiful dog.

  12. heather says:

    my wisconsin-born texas heart is homesick at the photo off your balcony. so impressive and idyllic. that okra shot is fantastic, too!



  13. Holly says:

    This looks fantastic – I love gumbo. Never had it with okra though… you may have inspired me.

  14. Erin says:

    mmmm…. I love okra!

  15. Jessamyn says:

    I love okra, but I usually have to buy it frozen – our summers aren’t long enough to grow it. It’s wonderful pan-fried with spices, deep fried, pickled…and yet I’ve never made gumbo. I should do something about that.

  16. Lori says:

    I just had some pickled okra Sunday. Love it. A little heat is good in it.

    Love the gumbo here!

    I really could get fit if I would just stop eating!

  17. Eesh says:

    Poor Kaweah looks so sad at being left out of the action this time :( The gumbo looks great, though.

  18. Nan @ tastingoutloud says:

    Gumbo looks yumbo!

  19. Manggy says:

    Summer! I’m so excited that means more beautiful photos from you :)
    I think the brown roux of gumbo is really supposed to happen after a few hours, yikes. (I’m not sure if I’m thinking of another recipe.) It’s nice to know that it still looks and taste good even skipping that step :)

  20. My Kitchen in the Rockies says:

    I have the same beautiful lab eyes sitting right next to my desk. They are the best. Love the pictures.

  21. Mollie says:

    K girl! Oh I missed that face. Jen my love I have neglected you. I’m headed back through the blog now but wanted to say that I’m sorry I’ve been gone, and mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm gumbo! Have made your au gratin potatoes, beef stir fry, and darling flank steak all in the last two weeks! Been thinking of you…

  22. AnnabelleN says:

    My very stable supply of okra is frozen from the Indian grocers. Gumbo looks fab and your dog is so precious.

  23. Ruth Ann says:

    Kaweah is so cute! And your pictures look gumbolicious. Glad you are better.

  24. Karna says:

    I couldn’t be more excited! And in a post about gumbo, my mom’s signature dish. Perfect it every way! : )

  25. Kate says:

    Can you come to my house and cook? JK! You are SO awesome. Amazing recepies, amazing photos!

  26. Crystal says:

    My mom’s from Louisiana, so I grew up on gumbo. We always put some roasted sweet potato in the bowl with the rice, and then poured the gumbo on top. The sweet/spicy combo is great!

  27. Suhartini Perkins says:

    Delicious!! Made it for tonight supper. Thanks for sharing… TP

  28. John says:

    I would recommend sticking to yankee dishes and leave the gumbo cooking to us southerners. The cooking of the roux to a chocolate brown is the most integral part of making a proper gumbo. Cutting this process short because you were cranky sounds absolutely ridiculous.

  29. jenyu says:

    John – us southerners? I grew up in the south. I just never cooked gumbo. But listen here, I have a recommendation for you. Why don’t you keep your unconstructive, negative, and rude comments to yourself? Asshole.

  30. Helene says:

    John: you’re an insult to the term “Southern hospitality”…well just “Southerner” really.

    Jen…keep on rocking. I’ll eat your gumbo and I am another Southerner…oh and Bill said he’ll eat your gumbo and his daddy and his mommy. That’s four Southerners.

  31. David in NOLA says:


    Nice site! Ignore John, he sounds cranky himself. Here in New Orleans we have a saying, “There are as many recipes for gumbo as there are cooks that make it” (Entirely true). That said, I have a long a sorted history of making gumbos (my “victims” include actual Brittish Royalty and the Outback Bowl Committee) and can offer a few tips that will make your next gumbo even better than the last.

    – Roux takes patience. Always use fresh flour (roux from old flour breaks) and approximately an equal portion of oil (never olive oil!!!). For seafood, cook the roux to a nice dark peanut butter-ish brown. If you are making a meat gumbo (turkey, chicken, duck, etc.) cook the roux to a light chocolate color. It takes about three beers to get a good roux that matches the bottle.

    – Always use stock! When I make duck or chicken gumbo, I’ll roast the bird and capture the rendered fat. Then I’ll use the roasted bird to make the stock and the rendered fat to make the roux. People who think pork fat rules, only think that because they haven’t had duck fat yet.

    – This is REALLY important. Make gumbo in advance, like a day or two before you need it. Make sure you let the stock-roux-veg mix cook for two-plus hours. Let the flavors “marry” in the fridge and reheat. If you are using seafood, hold it back until the last 10-15 minutes before serving. If you are cooking poultry or meat, just cook the bejeezus out of it.

    – Another tip I can offer that will surely cause controversy in the gumbo universe- It is my strongly held opinion that all gumbo contains roux (recipes for “roux-less” gumbos are heresy), but only seafood gumbo contains okra and only meat gumbo contains file’ (sassafras, for the uninitiated).

    – Frozen okra is perfectly acceptable in gumbo.

    – Turkey gumbo made with the carcass of a roasted turkey from Thanksgiving ROCKS! It is one of the least appreciated New Orleans dishes.

    – Also, a small squeeze of lemon add a touch of acidity to soften the roux.

    – Louisiana Jasmine long grain rice is the sine qua non rice for gumbo. Add a scoop on top of the bowl at serving.

    May your skillet be hot and your beer stay cold,


  32. jenyu says:

    Jackie – mmm, thanks! that sounds faboo!

    Pam – at the Asian market. Of course, later that afternoon I was told by my boys at the Whole Foods Seafood counter that they just got fresh okra in the produce section *doh*

    Manggy – holy hell… no wonder. I figured the heat output from my range was wankered again.

    Mollie – no worries, hon. Good to know you’re still around! xo

    Helene – ahhh lady, you always have my back. xo

    David in NOLA – um, I think I’m in love with you. Thank you for that amazing rundown of tips and information. I truly appreciate your generous and witty delivery too. The beauty of cooking is the sharing. Thank you for that. What I really want to know is… which British royalty and what the heck is the Outback Bowl Committee? ;) You’re awesome. xo

  33. David in NOLA says:


    Re: “um, I think I’m in love with you.” – You had me at “real butter”.

    If you do not have “Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes” by Jennifer McLagan in your kitchen library, you should put it at the top of your wish list. It is a really good book for people aren’t scared to live a little.

    The Brittish Royalty is a long story, but the short version is that I prepared a large turkey gumbo for a very affluent friend who was co-hosting a New Year’s Eve Party a few years ago. The commander of the Brittish Forces from the first Gulf War (Sir Charles- or something like that) was in attendance. He and his wife had never had gumbo and were very taken by it. They asked my friend if they could hire her “personal chef” (i.e. me) for a dinner party. She told them that I was not available for hire and I have yet to forgive her.

    The Outback Bowl is one of the college football bowl games. They have a committee that travels and evaluates colleges towards the end of the season for potential bowl bids. I ended up making a Duck and Andouille gumbo for them once.

    I believe that you can see my e-mail address from my reply form. If you send me an e-mail, I will send you a series of pictures that will provide you benchmarks for your rouxs.

    Also, I have been selected as a finalist in Gambit Magazine’s contest to develop a new recipe to promote Jazzmen Louisiana Rice. Online voting ends today. If you are willing, I’d appreciate your support for my Crispy Jazzmen Rice Cakes in Crawfish-Tasso Cream.

    You may vote here:

    Voting registers you a chance to win a commercial blender… just sayin’


  34. jenyu says:

    David – Done and Done! :)

  35. orrobbins says:

    From another Louisiana native, I’d like to say thank you. I’ve never mastered seafood gumbo, perhaps because as David said – there are so many versions out there. (and I agree whole-heartedly, gumbo is best the next day.)

    I tried your recipe using some very dark roux that was stored in the fridge (from a previous attempt), and it was delicious! I did brown the okra, and I do think it helped w/the “slime” factor. My only change was to use cayenne pepper, garlic, and cook a little longer to thicken the gumbo (my preference.)

    Here’s a roux trick: brown the flour in the oven, and store it dry in the freezer. It gives you a great head start on the roux and you can then darken it depending on the recipe.

    Thanks again!

  36. Liz says:

    I feel like you look through my freezer and pantry before posting these! I had shrimp casings in my freezer from a recent batch of gulf shrimp we scampied, some spicy sausage waiting to be used, and a tub of lump crabmeat. Combine that with the onions our neighbor gave us this morning and a head of cauliflower with lots of leafy greens on it, and my stock is smelling delicious. Thanks for the inspiration, cannot wait to taste the final product!

  37. Mrs Ergül says:

    This looks fantastic!! For all that seafood goodness, this is simple awesome! And great for the weather you are enjoying!

  38. jenyu says:

    orrobbins – thanks, what a great tip! I’ll be sure to use it next time I roll up my sleeves and make roux :)

  39. Delicious Seafood Recipes from Across the Country | Yummly says:

    […] Seafood Andouille Gumbo (from use real butter) […]

  40. Melanie says:

    This looks scrumptious! Those pics–ohmygawsh. I’m going to make seafood stock out of leftover crab legs and looking for recipes. I’m in CO as well and am wondering about okra…I wonder if frozen will work? I saw it in the grocery store the other and almost bought some for the same reasons you mentioned (e.g., tempura!) Thanks!

  41. jenyu says:

    Melanie – I think you can safely use frozen okra and it should still work. I saw there are some recipes online that call for frozen okra, just make sure they are thawed before cooking. Should be great! :)

  42. Paula Anthony says:

    I’ve been using your recipe now for 3 years and I LOVE IT! This go round I used a lobster base along with my shrimp stock and it turned out better than ever. I personally do not like real dark roux so this worked for me and actually the lobster base had darkened the gumbo. I’ve also added the gumbo file to my dish which gave it it’s finishing touch. You rock!

  43. jenyu says:

    Paula – OMG, YOU rock!!! Wow, you are such a pro! Your modifications sound AMAZING. Thanks for the ideas and feedback xoxo

  44. Lois Luckovich says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m on the Canadian west Coast and I don’t like oysters so this recipe suits me fine

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