A seafood gumbo is thickened with okra and packed with shrimp to make a low-country classic stew. This simple and easy-to-make recipe will have you making gumbo like a pro, as it comes together in just an hour and a half. Feel free to use fresh okra when it’s in season, but for this recipe, we incorporated frozen cut okra for a thicker consistency. Don’t worry about slimy results here. The okra is cooked down just long enough for a tender finish. Surprisingly, there’s no roux in this Shrimp and Okra Gumbo, because the okra really gives it the dark color that the roux normally would. Okra, shrimp, and diced tomatoes make this Cajun favorite delicious and quite healthy, too. In her cookbook United Tastes of Texas, Jessica Dupuy shares her family recipe. “This is the version my grandmother in Houston always made using fresh Gulf shrimp and a whole lot of okra,” she says. “Because it doesn’t have a roux, many may contend that it isn’t true gumbo. I’m not one to argue with my elders, so I’m sticking to what my grandmother calls this. But if you’d like to call it shrimp and okra stew, you’re free to do so.” Serve this Louisiana favorite over rice for an authentic one-dish dinner that will wow your guests.
6 tablespoons butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (16-oz.) packages frozen cut okra, thawed
1 (32-oz.) container chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon filé powder
Hot cooked rice
How to Make It
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium; add onion and next 3 ingredients, and sauté 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, okra, broth, and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil over medium-high; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Add shrimp, hot sauce, and filé powder. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve over rice.