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9 October 2020

My favorite seafood gumbo recipe with loads of shrimp, white fish, crab and oysters, all with plenty of Cajun seasonings. It’s heaven in a bowl.

It’s time for seafood gumbo, my friends. Gumbo is one of my very favorite things on this entire planet, and I’ll take it any way I can get it, whether we’re talking chicken and sausage gumbo, extra spicy gumbo, vegetarian green gumbo, whatever!

I just want gumbo!

When we were in New Orleans, I ate gumbo every day. Every person makes it a little different, but you still get that “gumbo” essence, which is one of its outstanding qualities.

You can make it your own! Especially with seafood.

Let’s talk about how we make seafood gumbo! Excited!

A bowl of seafood gumbo with loads of chunky seafood

Seafood Gumbo Ingredients

  • FOR THE GUMBO
  • Oil. Use ¾ cup vegetable oil. Peanut oil is great here.
  • Flour. Use ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetables. Use 1 large onion, 1 large bell pepper, 2 jalapeno peppers (optional), 2 celery stalks, 4 cloves garlic, and 2 cups okra.
  • Liquids. Use 12 ounces amber beer and 5 cups seafood stock. Use 4-6, depending on how thin you’d like your finished gumbo. You can also skip the beer and just use more stock.
  • Seasonings. Use 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend or more, 1 tablespoon cayenne powder, for more heat, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon dried thyme and bay leaf.
  • Extras. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon hot sauce or more to your preference, and ½ cup freshly chopped parsley.
  • FOR THE SEAFOOD
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound white fish – use red snapper, grouper, catfish, whatever is available to you
  • 1 pound lump white crab meat
  • ½ pound smoked oysters Or use freshly shucked if you can get them.
  • FOR SERVING
  • Cooked white rice fresh chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes, spicy chili oil, extra hot sauce

How to Make Seafood Gumbo – the Recipe Method

Start with a Roux. First, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add flour and continually stir until the flour is incorporated, forming a roux.

Constantly stir the roux for 20-30 minutes (or longer), ensuring nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot, or it may burn. The roux will darken to a peanut butter color to a light chocolate color, then to a dark roux the color of chocolate. I like to achieve a light chocolate color for my seafood gumbo.

*See my NOTES above on making a roux. Learn more here about How to Make a Roux.

Making Roux - the color darkens the longer you cook and stir. Be sure to stir continuously.
Making Roux – the color darkens the longer you cook and stir. Be sure to stir continuously.

Add the Vegetables. Add in onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic and okra. Stir the mixture often, about 5 minutes, until the okra is no longer slimy.

The Liquids. Stir in beer, seafood stock, Cajun seasonings, cayenne pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauce.

Simmer at Least One Hour. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer for at least 1 hour. 1.5-2 hours will develop more flavor. 

Add the Seafood. When nearly ready to serve, add in the shrimp, fish, crab and oysters* (See my NOTES below about your seafood options). Cook another 10 minutes, or until all the seafood has cooked through.

Serve the Seafood Gumbo. Stir in the fresh parsley. Serve the seafood gumbo into bowls with rice and top with fresh chopped parsley or green onions, spicy chili flakes, spicy chili oil, and extra hot sauce if desired.

Seafood Gumbo in a pot

About the Roux

Your roux will darken the longer you cook it. It stars out very white from the raw flour, but as you cook, stirring constantly, the flour darkens to a light brown and gets darker, to the color of copper and eventually very dark, like chocolate.

Lighter, or blonde, roux is thicker and will result in a thicker gumbo. Darker roux is thinner or soupier.

I cooked mine to a dark chocolate brown this time, though you can cook it to your own personal preference.

Seafood Options

I used shrimp, red snapper, crab and smoked oysters for my seafood gumbo. I just love the combination of those ingredients. However, you can use pretty much any seafood that you’d prefer.

Famous Cajun chef Emeril Lagasse uses gumbo crabs in his seafood gumbo, but they aren’t easily found where I live. You can use pretty much any type of fish. Catfish is good here. Try any whitefish, really. 

I actually added in a bit of shrimp powder that I made from my cookbook, “The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook”. It adds some umami to the dish.

Seafood Gumbo in a pot with loads of shrimp, whitefish, crab and smoked oysters

How to Make Seafood Stock

You can use a store bought seafood stock, or even use chicken or vegetable stock, but you can make your own seafood stock fairly easily.

I save shrimp shells, crab shells and lobster shells, things you might normally throw away. I keep them in the freezer for meals like this.

Simply add the shells to water, bring to a boil at medium-high heat, then simmer for an hour or so, or longer. The nutrients from the shells leaches into the water and becomes a rich and flavorful stock.

It is quite delicious and a great way to make use of those shells.

NOTE: If you don’t want to spend the time making a seafood stock, substitute it with chicken broth and you’ll still have an incredible pot of seafood gumbo.

Seafood Gumbo in a pot with 4 types of seafood

Recipe Variations

  • Tomatoes. Try adding tomatoes or tomato sauce to the dish before the long simmer. It’s a nice option for more of a Creole style gumbo.
  • Andouille. Many gumbos include smoked andouille sausage, which is very common in Cajun cuisine. Even though this is a seafood gumbo, feel free to include it in your gumbo pot. I think it’s great with this.
  • Simmering Time. Don’t skimp on the simmering time if you can help it. This isn’t a 20 minute or 30 minute gumbo. The dish really benefits from a longer simmer, so plan for spending a bit of time in the kitchen.
  • File Powder. File powder is a common ingredient in gumbo, stirred in to act as a thickener. Use it if you’d like. Very popular!

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your seafood gumbo! It’s one of my favorites ever!

Patty’s Perspective

I love a good seafood gumbo. All that tasty seafood floating around in a big bowl of tastiness. Mike has been making different types of gumbo for years, and I have to turn one down. I love his gumbos. He’s made this with catfish as well and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I really hope you try this recipe out. It’s a keeper for sure.

Chunky Seafood Gumbo on a spoon

Check Out My Other Gumbo Recipes

If you love gumbo, check out some of my other gumbo recipes.

Mike taking a big scoop from his bowl of seafood gumbo

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS.Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Seafood Gumbo Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Seafood Gumbo Recipe

My favorite seafood gumbo recipe with loads of shrimp, white fish, crab and oysters, all with plenty of Cajun seasonings. It's heaven in a bowl.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gumbo, recipe, seafood, shrimp, spicy
Servings: 8
Calories: 452kcal

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup vegetable oil peanut oil is great here
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped (optional)
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 cups okra chopped
  • 12 ounces amber beer
  • 5 cups seafood stock use 4-6, depending on how thin you’d like your finished gumbo
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend or more, as desired
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne powder optional, for more heat
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce or more to your preference, use your favorite!
  • ½ cup freshly chopped parsley

FOR THE SEAFOOD

  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound white fish use red snapper, grouper, catfish, whatever is available to you
  • 1 pound lump white crab meat
  • ½ pound smoked oysters Or use freshly shucked if you can get them

FOR SERVING

  • Cooked white rice fresh chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes, spicy chili oil, extra hot sauce

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Swirl in the flour and continually stir until the flour is incorporated, forming a roux. Constantly stir the roux for 20-30 minutes (or longer), ensuring nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot, or it may burn. The roux will darken to a peanut butter color to a light chocolate color. *See my NOTES above on making a roux.
  • Add the onion, peppers, celery, garlic and okra. Stir the mixture often, about 5 minutes, until the okra is no longer slimy.
  • Stir in the beer, seafood stock, Cajun seasonings, cayenne pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauce.
  • Bring the pot to a quick boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour. 1.5-2 hours will develop more flavor.
  • When nearly ready to serve, add in the shrimp, fish, crab and oysters* (See my NOTES above about your seafood options). Cook another 10 minutes, or until all the seafood has cooked through.
  • Stir in the fresh parsley.
  • Serve the seafood gumbo into bowls with rice and top with fresh chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes, spicy chili oil, and extra hot sauce if desired.

Video

Notes

Serves 8-10 (or more with rice). Calories calculated without rice.
Heat Factor: Mild, though there are plenty of spices for great flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 2056mg | Potassium: 724mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1750IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 3.7mg

NOTE: This post was updated on 10/9/20 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 1/2/19.

 
Seafood Gumbo
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