Seafood Gumbo

January 31, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Tim Morrish
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • Serves 6 to 8
Test Kitchen Notes

This seafood gumbo takes a little planning to make, but the end result is well worth it. The homemade stock really puts this recipe over the top. It's also a great way to use up any leftover shrimp shells. To make the stock, you need said shrimp shells, small crabs, onions, carrots, and celery. Broiling the crabs, shells, and onions until they're charred really helps bring out their flavor, and it's an extra step that you shouldn't skip. After that, all that's left to do is cover everything with water and let it simmer for about 1 hour.

A simple Creole seasoning and gradually adding the stock a cup at a time makes the seafood in this gumbo shine. This recipe calls for okra, whole crabs (or just lump crab meat if that's easier), shell-on shrimp, oysters, and mild white fish. Feel free to add scallops, lobster, crawfish, whatever you enjoy and happen to need to use up. You could even throw in some sausage—basically whatever makes you happy. Some rice, scallions, and hot sauce round out this delicious gumbo. The Creole seasoning, made with granulated garlic, granulated onion, cayenne pepper, paprika, and white pepper, packs a punch for whatever kind of protein or seafood you're serving. Make an extra batch and store at room temperature for a month so you always have some on hand. And if you don't use up all the stock, or want to make more, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 2 months. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Seafood Stock & Creole Seasoning:
  • 1 pound small crabs
  • 1 pound leftover shrimp shells
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Gumbo:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic, cloves finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 dashes fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds shell-on shrimp
  • 1 pound mild white fish
  • 1 pound whole crabs or ½ pound lump crab meat
  • 1/2 pound shucked oysters (optional)
  • 2 cups okra
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon filé powder
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  1. Seafood Stock & Creole Seasoning:
  2. Heat the broiler. On a large rimmed baking sheet, arrange the crabs, shrimp shells, and onions. Broil for about 10 minutes, until the edges are charred. If you don't have a broiler, roast in a 450°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until charred.
  3. Transfer the crab mixture to a large pot. Add the carrots and celery and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the granulated garlic, granulated onion, cayenne, paprika, and pepper; set aside until ready to use.
  5. Strain out the solids; reserve the stock for the gumbo (you should have about 5 quarts).
  1. Gumbo:
  2. In a large heavy pot over medium heat, cook the flour and oil, stirring constantly, until toasted and a chocolate color. Be patient.
  3. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and stir to combine. Add a pinch of the reserved Creole seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the seafood stock 1 cup at a time to loosen the mixture. Continue to add gradually until all of the stock is added. Add the bay leaves, a pinch of salt, and another pinch of the reserved Creole seasoning.
  5. Simmer, skimming the fat off the top occasionally, until thickened and the liquid is reduced by about one-quarter. Add the sugar and fish sauce and stir to combine; season with salt, if needed.
  6. Add the shrimp, fish, crabs, oysters (if using), and okra. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the seafood is cooked through.
  7. Divide the rice among bowls. Spoon the gumbo over and garnish with the scallions, filé powder, and hot sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Tish MacFarlane
    Tish MacFarlane
  • 3vanmendez
  • RDWonline

3 Reviews

3vanmendez December 6, 2022
I absolutely love this recipe! I highly recommend if you have the opportunity to take a class with Chef Nini.
RDWonline December 13, 2020
Used about 95% of the ingredients in this recipe. The seafood used in my gumbo was crawfish, shrimp, scallops, crab and lobster. Added two cooked and sliced andouille sausage. Also, instead of fish sauce, I used a small bit of sriracha seasoning at the very end.

Thank you so much for this recipe and talking through what to expect at each step of the process. Your explanation helped make my gumbo a resounding success!
Tish M. March 21, 2020
Using your recipe, but not entirely seafood as I used crawfish, oysters, and smoked sausage, and I cheated and didn't make my own stock, I made a big pot, and it was delicious! Everyone enjoyed it, and I had enough for a big bowl the next day. It was fun watching you make this. Have you received any suggestions for a Vietnamese dish? I would like to see you make shrimp and pork spring rolls.