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Prawn gumbo recipe

Prawn gumbo recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Shellfish
  • Prawns

A bowl of steaming gumbo – a thick and spicy cross between a soup and a stew, full of peppers, tomatoes, okra, herbs and prawns – brings you all the good tastes of the Louisiana bayou. Serve with steamed rice or crusty bread so you can enjoy all the sauce.

28 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 75 g (2½ oz) lean smoked back bacon rashers, rinded and diced
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) fish stock, preferably home-made
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 225 g
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • 100 g (3½ oz) okra, sliced crossways
  • 340 g (12 oz) peeled raw prawns
  • 55 g (2 oz) fine green beans, cut into bite-sized lengths
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced, to garnish

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, pepper and celery, and cook for 5–6 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic and bacon and cook for a further 3–4 minutes. Stir in the flour, increase the heat slightly and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Stir in the paprika and cook for 2 more minutes. Gradually add the stock, stirring well to dissolve the flour mixture.
  2. Add the thyme, tomatoes with their juice, parsley, bay leaves and the Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and add Tabasco sauce to taste. Add the okra and simmer for 15 minutes or until the okra is tender and the mixture has thickened.
  3. Add the prawns and green beans and cook for 3 minutes or until the prawns turn pink and the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaves and season the gumbo with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls, sprinkled with spring onions.

Some more ideas

Try a Jamaican-style gumbo. Instead of lean bacon, use 75 g (2½ oz) lean smoked sausage such as kabanos. In step 2, add 1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger, ½ tsp Angostura bitters, 1 small can red kidney beans, about 200 g, drained, and 1 tbsp dark rum with the tomatoes and other ingredients. Replace half the parsley with fresh coriander. * Use a mixture of 170 g (6 oz) prawns and 170 g (6 oz) canned crab meat, adding the crab at the very end, with the final seasoning.

Plus points

Okra contains a mucilaginous substance that is used to thicken the liquid in dishes such as this (the name gumbo comes from the African word for okra). The nutrient content of okra is very similar to other green vegetables in that it provides useful amounts of dietary fibre, potassium, calcium, folate and vitamin C. * Bacon is a good source of vitamin B1, which is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Always choose lean varieties and be aware of the salt content.

Each serving provides

Excellent source of niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C. Good source of iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E. Useful source of calcium, copper, folate, selenium, zinc.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (5)

I'm a Louisiana native. I'm not saying this is a bad recipe for a spicy stew, but it's a bold claim that this is a Louisiana gumbo. If you want the true flavors of gumbo, some things need to change: The flour and oil. This essentially makes a roux. We would use a neutral oil, and a lot more of it, along with more flour. 50/50 by volume. In this recipe, a 1/4 of oil and 1/4 cup of flour would make the right consistency. The gumbo wouldn't get super thick, because you need to cook the roux between a milk chocolate to a dark chocolate color. (a dark Cajun roux is quintessential to much of Cajun cooking) It's not burnt, just deeply toasted. If you get dark specks, the roux is burnt and needs to be thrown out. Also the longer you cook your roux, the less thickening power it has, so that's the reason to make so much of it....The french use mirepoix to flavor things (a combination of onions, carrots and celery). The Cajuns use the trinity (a combination of onion, green bell pepper and celery). So just cook the roux first before anything, then add the trinity when the roux has the right color.I would leave out the green beans and paprika. They are never in a gumbo. Bacon would make a nice addition, but I've never seen it Cajun gumbo. If we want a smokey flavor, we would use a Cajun smoked sausage down here. Also, add some cayenne pepper, a pinch or two at a time (it's a dry spice. Powdered form). Also, substitute green bell pepper for the red pepper. That's it folks-04 May 2014

love this recipe, have also made it with chicken - gorgeous flavour-05 Oct 2012

excellent and yummy, i just had it with bread and butter like a thick soup!-23 Jan 2010

For the creole gumbo

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra if needed
  • 2 chicken breasts, skin removed and chopped into large chunks (or cubed sweet potato or sweetcorn)
  • 200g/7oz smoked sausage, sliced (or chorizo)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped (or red or yellow pepper)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 175g/6oz okra, topped and tailed then sliced into 1cm/½in pieces (optional)
  • 200g/7oz king prawns, head and tail left on, peeled and deveined (or mussels, clams or any shellfish, scrubbed and debearded)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped red amaranth, to garnish
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped, to garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve

For the cornbread muffins

  • 75g/2¾oz butter, melted, plus extra for greasing and frying
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 198g tin sweetcorn, drained
  • ½ red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 150g/5½oz quick-cook polenta
  • 150g/5½oz plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • large pinch of salt
  • 150ml/5fl oz soured cream
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 100ml/3½fl oz full-fat milk

Chicken and prawn gumbo

My gumbo is inspired by several versions I had in New Orleans, in particular the one at Dooky Chase, which is run by 94-year-old local legend Leah Chase. Among her many achievements, she fed, quite literally, the 1960s civil rights movement, as well as a couple of presidents. I’ve replaced the andouille and tasso, which are hard to get in the UK, with smoked pork belly or bacon add smoked sausage, if you like, or any other smoked pork product. Serves six.

4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
Salt and black pepper
60ml vegetable oil
70g plain flour
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
2 green peppers, deseeded and finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1½ tbsp Cajun spice blend (make your own or buy ready-made)
300g peeled raw prawns
1 litre chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
200g smoked pork belly (or smoky bacon), cut into 2cm pieces
200g cooked basmati rice (ie, made from about 80g uncooked rice)

Season the chicken with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. On a medium flame, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy-based pan for which you have a lid, lay in the chicken thighs skin-side down and fry for four to five minutes, until golden brown. Turn the thighs, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, checking once or twice that the chicken isn’t sticking or burning (there should be enough fat in the pan for this not to happen). Transfer the chicken to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan (you should have about two tablespoons).

Add another three tablespoons of oil to the pan and warm gently on a medium heat. Add the flour, whisk to a smooth paste, then cook, whisking often, for 15-20 minutes, until the roux turns into a dark chocolate-coloured paste. Add the garlic, onion, peppers, celery and spice blend, and cook for five minutes, stirring often. Roughly chop five prawns, add to the pan and cook for five minutes, then pour in the stock, 350ml water and the tomato paste. Stir in the smoked pork and a teaspoon of salt, then leave the gumbo to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes more. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the chicken thighs and tear the flesh off the bones in rough 4-5cm chunks.

Once the gumbo has simmered for 20 minutes, stir in the chicken, cook for 10 minutes more, then add the remaining prawns and cooked rice. Check the seasoning, simmer for a final three minutes, until the prawns are just cooked, and serve hot.

Notes about this recipe

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Easy Prawn & Sausage Gumbo

Few dishes are more comforting than a warm bowl of gumbo. Read on to learn how to make the best batch ever.

1. Don&rsquot turn your back on the roux.

Every good gumbo starts with mixture of butter and flour called a roux. In this case, we&rsquore cooking the roux until it has a golden colour, which can take about 10 minutes. In this time, you should be stirring somewhat constantly. It&rsquos very easy to burn a roux, and if you do then you have to start oveR.

2. Choose your shrimp wisely.

You might be wondering why we call for prawns with the tails on. Though it won&rsquot make or break your gumbo, prawn shells have SO much flavour, so we always prefer to keep them on. If eating tail-on prawn is not your thing, don&rsquot think twice about leaving them out. In terms of size, it doesn&rsquot really matter how big your prawns are, as long as you&rsquore keeping a close eye on them as they cook. As soon as they turn opaque, they&rsquore done. Overcooking prawns is super easy, so it&rsquos important to watch carefully so you don&rsquot end up with chewy prawn.

3. Andouille or bust.

Some recipes that call for sausage will give you options. Subbing in a spicy Italian for a hot Italian sausage, or a chicken sausage for a pork sausage is totally fine. This is not the case with gumbo&mdashyou really need andouille. It provides a very specific flavour associated with gumbo, so try your hardest to find it.

If you can&rsquot find andouille anywhere, there are ways to substitute the flavour. Start with mince pork, and mix in cajun spices. Since andouille is double smoked, try adding a little liquid smoke to the mix. We&rsquod start small, 1/2 teaspoon should do it.

Spice-stuffed potato cakes (V)

1kg new or maris piper potatoes, peeled and halved
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp black mustard seeds, toasted
60g coriander
40g mint
2 green chillies, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ tsp sugar
Sunflower oil, for frying
1 lemon, cut into wedges, or a sweet chutney, to serve

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes until soft. Transfer to a bowl with the turmeric, mustard seeds and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, mash well and leave to cool.

Put the coriander, mint, chillies, tamarind, garlic, sugar and another quarter-teaspoon of salt into a food processor and blitz to a smooth, dry paste.

Take a small handful of the potato mixture (about 40g in weight) and shape into a ball. Place this in the palm of one hand and use the thumb of the other hand to make a dent large enough to fill with a teaspoon of the spice mix. Once the mixture is added, shape the potato back into a ball, then flatten it between both hands so the cake is 1.5cm thick. Repeat with the remaining potato and spice mixture until it's used up – you should have about 20 or so cakes – then refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Smear the base of a large, nonstick frying pan with sunflower oil. Place over a medium heat and, once hot, fry the cakes in batches for five to eight minutes, turning once, until light golden and crisp on the outside. Serve at once, with a wedge of lemon or some sweet chutney on the side.

Cajun seafood gumbo recipe

Dive into a bowl of this Cajun seafood gumbo, the ultimate soul food dish. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, filled with shrimp, crabmeat and okra. Serve in soup bowls with scoops of rice.


  • 180 ml vegetable oil
  • 900 g fresh okra, thinly sliced (or equivalent canned or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 3.7 l water
  • 900 g ham, cubed
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled but left whole
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1.8 kg medium prawn (shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 900 g crabmeat
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 6.3 fl oz vegetable oil
  • 31.7 oz fresh okra, thinly sliced (or equivalent canned or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 6.5 pints water
  • 31.7 oz ham, cubed
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled but left whole
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 lbs medium prawn (shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 31.7 oz crabmeat
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 0.8 cup vegetable oil
  • 31.7 oz fresh okra, thinly sliced (or equivalent canned or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 15.6 cups water
  • 31.7 oz ham, cubed
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled but left whole
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 lbs medium prawn (shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 31.7 oz crabmeat
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce


  • Cuisine: Cajun
  • Recipe Type: Gumbo
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 150 mins
  • Serves: 8


  1. In a large saucepan (non-cast iron), heat 120ml of the oil over medium heat. Add the okra and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until it is no longer slimy.
  2. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring, for another 10 minutes, until the okra takes on a brownish color and is reduced to about a quarter of its original volume. Transfer the okra to a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large stockpot, bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  4. Meanwhile, add the remaining 60ml oil to the saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the ham and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the ham to the stockpot.
  6. Add the onions, celery, garlic, and bell pepper to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Add the vegetables, okra, and tomatoes to the stockpot. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 1 hour, or until the vegetables are very tender.
  8. Reduce the heat to very low, add the shrimp, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes.
  9. Add the crabmeat and Tabasco sauce and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, to blend flavours.

This recipe has been created by chef Eula Mae Doré to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tabasco sauce.

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Slow Cooker Shrimp Gumbo

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In this easy recipe adapted from Southern Living magazine, your slow cooker does most of the hard work. All you have to do is brown some all-purpose flour in the oven, whisk it into a smooth roux with chicken broth, quickly brown the andouille sausage, and combine everything but the shrimp in your slow cooker’s crock for a five-hour simmer. To stay moist, the shrimp is added 30 minutes before the gumbo is done. Serve with rice pilaf.

Not enough time to simmer? Try our delicious and easy Chicken Gumbo recipe, and see more easy New Orleans recipes for Mardi Gras (and beyond).

Special equipment: You’ll need a cast-iron skillet and a large, 6-quart slow cooker to make this recipe.

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo Recipe

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&rsquos in season, but for this recipe, we incorporated frozen cut okra for a thicker consistency. Don&rsquot worry about slimy results here. The okra is cooked down just long enough for a tender finish. Surprisingly, there&rsquos 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. &ldquoThis is the version my grandmother in Houston always made using fresh Gulf shrimp and a whole lot of okra,&rdquo she says. &ldquoBecause it doesn&rsquot have a roux, many may contend that it isn&rsquot true gumbo. I&rsquom not one to argue with my elders, so I&rsquom sticking to what my grandmother calls this. But if you&rsquod like to call it shrimp and okra stew, you&rsquore free to do so.&rdquo Serve this Louisiana favorite over rice for an authentic one-dish dinner that will wow your guests.

  1. 1 Combine all the spice mix ingredients together.
  2. 2 Prepare the sauce base. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low to medium heat, before adding the flour.
  3. 3 Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly – it should have a deep, nutty brown colour by the end of this process. This is your ‘roux’.
  4. 4 Add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic and the spice mix to the roux.
  5. 5 Cook altogether over a moderate heat for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables soften, stirring regularly.
  6. 6 Add the chicken stock and water, combine well and bring the mix to the boil.
  7. 7 Reduce the heat, and leave to simmer for 1 hour 30 mins, skimming the surface as needed.
  8. 8 When the gumbo sauce is almost ready, in a separate, large saucepan or pot, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and fry the chicken thighs until well caramelised/browned.
  9. 9 Add the gumbo sauce to the pot with the chicken, and bring the whole mix to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 10-15 mins, then add the prawns.
  10. 10 Give the whole mix a gentle stir through, then remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped parsley last.
  11. 11 Serve hot.

Really Yummy Dish!

Really nice dish. I cooked it with rice but you could really have it with whatever takes your fancy. The only downside is that it takes quite a while too cook. However very tasty, little bit of heat and very filling.

I think the measurements are wrong in this recipe

Takes a long time to cook but the wait was rewarding. Kids loved it which was also a bonus.


Simple to make despite the length, although can leave to simmer while doing other things. Lost the prawns in it a bit could have got away without adding the extra water,