Gumbo is the national dish of Louisiana.
If you love gumbo, the spicy stew, don't miss this article! We'll show you how to cook gumbo on your own and for cheap!
Gumbo is originated in West Africa and was served for the first time in Louisiana tables in the early 1800s. The original recipe includes a variety of seafood, but there's no official way to serve it.
This recipe includes thickened solely with okra and adds Tasso (cured pork shoulder). In case you don't have Tasso, you can use bacon, smoked ham, or any other meat that you like. Let's get to work and enjoy your gumbo!
- 1.5-2.5 pounds of shrimp, shells on, jumbo or large shrimp work best
- A few tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 pound okra, chopped into rounds
- 1/2 pound Tasso, bacon or smoked ham, chopped
- 2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2-1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (optional, for those who like it hot!)
- 4.5 cups of water
1. Peel the shrimp, keeping the shells, and cover the shrimp and refrigerate. Bring the 4.5 cups of water to a boil, add the shells, boil for a minute or two, and then reduce the heat, cover and cook on the lowest flame or setting for 30 minutes. If you overboil the shells, you'll probably need to scoop off some of the bubbled-up fat and reduce the cooking time as you'll lose a lot of broth. After half an hour, let the stock cool, strain it, toss the shells, and set the stock aside. You can also refrigerate it if you plan to cook the rest the following day.
2. Get a large frying pan, deep heavy pot, or Dutch oven, and heat a few tablespoons of oil. Most folks use vegetable oil, but for some Mediterranean flair, olive oil will certainly work. Add the onions, let them cook for 3-4 minutes at high heat until they start to turn translucent. Stir in the garlic, and then slowly add the okra and bacon/Tasso/ham and season with salt and pepper, stirring constantly as it begins to brown. After 5 minutes, add the cans of tomatoes and bay leaves, reduce the heat and let the mixture cook uncovered on a low flame for 30 minutes.
3. The okra mixture ought to be nice and sticky by now, and you can pour in the shrimp stock, along with the cayenne pepper and the Sriracha sauce, bring it to a boil and then simmer for another 30 minutes.
4. Finally, add the shrimp in at the end, cooking them in the soup/stew for 10 minutes until they change color. Remove the bay leaves.