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Seafood Gumbo

1 hr 30 mins
30 mins
1 hr 30 mins
30 mins


Gumbo Spice Mix (makes about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon powdered bay leaf
  • tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup whole dried shrimp
  • 3/4 cup Gumbo Spice Mix (recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup okra, cut into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lobster tail
  • 1/4 cup crabmeat
  • 1/4 cup scallops
  • 1/4 cup jumbo shrimp
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice

Chef notes

Having gumbo on my table during New Year's is a must in my household, and some of my fondest memories as a child are of my grandmother cooking gumbo around the holidays. There are several different styles and preparations of gumbo, but my style is a mix of flavors from South Carolina, West Africa and Louisiana. The word gumbo comes from the West African word "ki ngombo" for "okra." Eating gumbo around New Year's is believed to attract wealth and prosperity.

Technique tip: The roux is at the heart of every delicious gumbo. It is important to not rush the roux-making process. Watch it closely and let the flavors develop at the proper time.

Swap option: Instead of making gumbo spice mix from scratch, you can use store-bought gumbo spice mix.


For the gumbo spice mix:

Stir all ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

For the gumbo:


In a heavy 4- to 5-quart pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Once the butter begins to bubble slightly, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to form a smooth paste.


Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes to make a chocolate-colored roux. While the roux cooks, make sure to stir continuously, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to avoid burning. It is important to keep a very close eye on the roux during this step. The roux can go from a complex nutty color and aroma to burnt beyond repair in a matter of minutes.


After the roux turns from a smooth peanut butter color and consistency to one resembling rich chocolate, add the onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper and tomatoes; this will stop the roux from overcooking and burning.


Lower the heat and cook the vegetables over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the dried shrimp, spice mix and tomato paste, and cook for 5 minutes.


Slowly whisk in the stock and stir until the stock is completely blended with the roux and vegetable mixture. Add the okra, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, lobster, crab, scallops and shrimp. Let simmer for about 1 hour over very low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.


Season the gumbo to taste with salt and pepper and serve over the rice.