Prawn gumbo

    1 hour 5 min

    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.

    30 people made this

    Serves: 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

    Prep: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 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