Gumbo is a creole/cajun American dish that has history as deep as its flavour. It is widely disputed which version is the one that is supreme and, depending on what school of thought you subscribe to, an eternally debatable topic. One thing that is true is that it is delicious, whether tomato-based or not, made with roux or not; it's hard to argue the epicurean effects of this seafood-based dish. Possibly one of the most familiar versions is this shrimp one here. Big on flavour thanks to the use of traditional smoked andouille sausage, opting for shell-on and head-on shrimp as well as briny clam juice to up the ante on the deep seafood sweetness.
Shrimp Gumbo 8 Steps
Begin by preparing the roux: Heat a large Dutch oven or braiser on medium low heat and begin melting the butter with the canola oil, then add in the all-purpose flour and stir until smooth. Continue cooking this roux stirring very regularly for 5-7 minutes until it is the colour of a medium caramel. Be sure to keep an eye on the roux the entire time as it can go from a beautiful and dark nutty aroma to burnt very quickly.
Add in the diced celery, diced green bell pepper, diced yellow onion as well as minced garlic and continue cooking for another 7-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
Add in the dried shrimp if using, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
Add in the clam juice a few splashes at a time and incorporate fully into the roux and vegetable mix. Make sure the mixture is even before continuing to add more clam juice.
Add in shrimp or chicken stock, andouille sausage rounds, thyme sprigs as well as bay leaves and bring to a boil, allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Add in the shrimp, as well as sliced okra and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes until the shrimp have cooked through and the okra has softened but is not slimy.
Mix in half of the chopped parsley and adjust seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper.
Serve with cooked steamed rice topped with remaining chopped parsley as well as lemon wedges.