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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


easy vegetarian gumbo recipe

Several years ago, a fellow grad student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, introduced me to Gumbo. She loved chicken and ham in it, sometimes she liked seafood gumbo. And, not being even half as adventurous back then, I only managed to taste a spoonful every time she made it.

Since then, I have gradually adapted her recipe to make my version of gumbo. Lately, we've been eating gumbo every other week for some reason, so, here's my easy vegetarian version.

Veggies: Okra, corn, tomatoes, red bell peppers, crushed garlic
Optional: Andouille chicken sausage (I leave this out usually)
Herbs & Spices: Cayenne pepper, Black pepper, Paprika, Thyme, Parsley, Bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce‡ (adjust quantity to taste)
Mirepoix: celery, onion, carrots all chopped finely
Garnish: Spring onions, fresh parsley
For the roux: 1 Tbsp all purpose flour, 1 Tbsp Canola oil
4 cups water or broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Salt to taste

‡: I use a vegetarian version of Worcestershire sauce that leaves out anchovies; also, for this recipe, can omit Worcestershire sauce altogether, if preferred.

  1. Make a dark roux: heat the flour in a pan and allow it to toast, then add the oil while stirring constantly to form a paste/roux
  2. Add the mirepoix and sauté, then add the crushed garlic and tomato paste and sauté some more, adding a bit more oil if needed
  3. Than, stir in the herbs and spices, veggies, sausage if using, and stock/water
  4. Cover and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes till veggies are cooked; adjust cooking time if using frozen or canned veggies
  5. Garnish with spring onions and parsley and serve hot

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