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Seafood Okra Gumbo

  • Yield: 12 first-course servings or 8 main-course servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Italian plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh shallots
  • 2 quarts fish stock
  • 1 cup diced firm-fleshed fish, such as grouper, tile, monk or sea bass (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon stemmed fresh thyme
  • 1 cup fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 cup sliced fresh okra, (about 8 large)
  • 2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning, or to taste
  • 1 cup shucked fresh oysters in their liquor
  • 1 cup fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 teaspoon file powder (ground sassafras), (available in specialty food stores)
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • Finishing touch: chopped green onions


  • Heat oil in a large pot over high heat, add onions, celery and bell peppers, and saute 1 minute. Season with salt and 4 turns of pepper and saute 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots, and saute, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes more.
  • Stir in stock, then add fish, Worcestershire, hot sauce, bay leaves, basil, oregano and thyme, and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Stir in shrimp, okra and Creole seasoning, and simmer 10 minutes. Fold in oysters and crabmeat and simmer 5 minutes more. Skim the impurities from the top of the gumbo, turn the heat to high and boil vigorously 5 minutes. Slowly sprinkle in the file, stirring to incorporate thoroughly, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more.
  • To serve, ladle gumbo into bowls or soup plates, add rice and sprinkle with green onions.