Chef Folse's Shrimp and Okra Gumbo Bayou Teche

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6-8 Servings

Bayou Teche winds its way through Acadiana bisecting many Cajun villages along the way. Regardless of what bayou bank they reside on, all the people of Cajun Country are great gumbo cooks. This gumbo, or one similar to it, can be found simmering in most Acadian homes.


3 pounds (35-count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (16-ounce) package cut frozen okra
2 1/2 quarts shellfish stock (see recipe)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tbsps chopped thyme
2 tbsps chopped basil
1 cup diced Creole tomatoes
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
Creole seasoning to taste
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Louisiana hot sauce to taste


NOTE: Cooking the okra in a microwave helps to remove slime and reduce the total cooking time.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine okra and tomatoes. Tightly wrap bowl with clear plastic wrap. Using a knife, make a few holes in wrap. Place in microwave and cook on high for 15 minutes or until tender, removing every 5 minutes to stir. You may wish to smother okra in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop by sautéing in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat for approximately 20 minutes, stirring constantly. When okra are cooked, set aside. In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until a dark brown roux is achieved (see roux recipes). Stir in onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add stock, one ladle at a time, until soup-like consistency is achieved. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to simmer then stir in bay leaves, thyme, basil, tomatoes and okra. Season lightly using salt, pepper, granulated garlic and Creole seasoning. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in half of shrimp and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Additional stock may be used to reach desired consistency. Add green onions and parsley. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove bay leaves and gently fold in remaining shrimp. Cook 3-5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and curled. Serve a generous portion in a soup bowl over steamed white rice with a dash of hot sauce. You may also wish to sprinkle ½ teaspoon of filé powder or ground sassafras leaves over gumbo before serving.