Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo

Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo

Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo

This is the best gumbo recipe I’ve found to date and it’s even Induction friendly if you omit the Carbalose flour.  If you omit the Carbalose, you can also omit the olive oil, which make up the “roux”.  If on Induction, skip the roux making altogether.  Won’t be quite as tasty, won’t really be gumbo, but rather a seafood stew or soup, but it will be OK for Induction and still have a very nice flavor.

A teacher I used to work with taught me how to make “roux”.  She was born and raised in Louisiana and cooked gumbo for a teacher social gathering I attended years ago.  Though she used smoked sausage instead of bulk pork breakfast sausage, I find I like breakfast sausage better in my gumbo.  Two things I have added to the recipe are the stick of butter and the parsley.  She used chicken stock and I prefer seafood stock I get from boiling the shrimp shells for 10 minutes in 1½ quarts of water.  Of course, you can add crab meat (and/or crawfish), but you would have to adjust the nutritional info below if you make these additions.


2 T. Carbalose flour or oat fiber

2T. olive oil

1 stick butter

½ c. chopped onion

½ c. chopped parsley

3 cloves minced garlic

6 oz. crumbled breakfast sausage (or sliced smoked sausage if you prefer)

3/4 c. chopped green bell pepper

½ c. chopped celery

3 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 small bay leaves

1 tsp. thyme

10-15 drops Tobasco

¼ tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hotter)

2 lb. shrimp in their shells, heads on (I often do half shrimp and half cleaned crawfish tail meat)

1½ qt. seafood stock made from shrimp shells

1½ c. frozen chopped okra

1 tsp. gumbo file powder (added last 5-10 minutes)


First make the seafood stock by boiling the shrimp shells in 1½ qts. water in a large cooking pot for about 10 minutes.  I make seafood stock ahead and keep extra in my spare freezer in 1 cup portions in plastic tubs for such uses.  Then I can just pop one out and add to the pot for soups, gumbos and etouffees.  Scoop out shells with slotted spoon and discard.  Pour stock into bowl and set aside.   Wipe moisture out of pot.

Chop all your vegetables and have them at the ready by the stove top, because once you start to make the roux, you can’t stop to cut them up.

Now you’re ready to make the roux and start the gumbo.  The roux imparts a nutty, browned flour taste to the broth of this dish and if this step is bypassed, you will merely be making an ordinary fish soup with much less depth of flavor.

There is an art to making roux with respect to knowing when to “kill” the browning action just short of it burning, which gives it an unpleasant, bitter taste.  If it burns, you just have to toss it out and start again.  I’ve burned it one time in hundreds and hundreds of batches.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s really quite easy!

Heat oil and add Carbalose flour (or oat fiber) and whisk constantly on high heat.   You want to brown the roux as dark as you can get it without it getting black.  I you see black bits of burned flour that look like pepper in it, it’s ruined and you’ll have to start again.  This can burn in the blink of an eye, so absolutely do not get distracted or walk away from the stove while making a roux!    The second it gets to a dark brown color, immediately dump the chopped vegetables in the pan to drop the temperature of the roux and halt further burning.  Now add the stick of butter, relax and continue sauteing the vegetables for 5-10 minutes until they wilt and begin to caramelize.  If still on Induction, you could consider omitting the Carbalose flour/roux process entirely and thicken with xanthan gum instead.  You won’t get that nutty flavor browning the flour gives, but it would be OK to do this, I think.

If on Induction and omitting the roux, just begin by melting the butter and sauteeing the veggies until tender.  Now add all remaining ingredients (except the gumbo file), including the seafood stock.  Simmer covered on lowest heat for about an hour to meld flavors.  Add okra and simmer 20-30 more minutes.  Slightly thicken with xanthan gum, dusting it lightly over surface and stirring constantly.  Repeat xanthan gum additions until gumbo reaches desired thickness (takes about 1/4 tsp or so total).  Add gumbo file and simmer 5-10 minutes longer.  Serve with a nice salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: As a full meal, this recipe should serve 6 people a large bowl of gumbo.  If serving a small cup of gumbo as an appetizer to another entree, it will make about 10 servings.

6 Servings: each contains 450 calories, 30.28 g fat, 7.83 g carbs, 2.23 g fiber, 36.45 g protein, approx. 96 mg. sodium 5.6 NET CARBS

10 Servings: each contains 272 calories, 18.17 g fat, 4.7 g carbs, 1.34 g fiber, 21.87 g protein, approx. 58 mg. sodium, 3.36 NET CARBS


8 comments on “Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo

  1. Have you ever made a roux with soy flour? I know it burns quickly, so I’m not sure it would work. The one time I’ve tried with carbalose, I found my blood sugar went up too much so I’m trying to find an alternative. Thanks!

    • No, because I just can’t stand the taste of anything made with soy flour, despite trying really hard to like it. Finally just had to toss my bag out. Oat fiber (not oat flour!) makes a very nice roux that tastes like almost like a white flour roux. And it’s virtually pure fiber, virtually 0 carbs and shouldn’t jack up your BG levels. Netrition.com sells it in 1# bags; Honeyvillegrains.com sell it in 4# bags. 🙂

  2. Where do you buy the carbalose flour? I keep finding Carbquick for sale online and the website for Tova industries says that the carbalose flour is only available to commercial users.

  3. We had a long discussion about roux on LCF several months ago. The consensus seemed to be that Carbalose wouldn’t work.. that it would taste bitter. I live in Cajun country, and not many of the people who responded understood what the roux is for. It’s not for thickening. Gumbo’s are not thick. They are quite soupy, actually and intended to be served over rice. Once the roux is browned to the color of dark chocolate, it loses the thickening characteristic found in french butter and flour roux’s. So, I am managing quite well w/o rice, but I would like to make my cajun-style roux’s.. for lots of things. You don’t use very much flour, so I’m wondering if that might be the ticket. Use a small amount.. instead of the 1/2 to 3/4 cup I would normally use. Then, it’s not bitter? And, you still get the characteristic nutty background flavor? I guess I’m asking for clarification before I use up a pound of andouille and a chicken! hehe.

    • Sharon, I’ve never, ever had a batch made with real flour come out bitter, except the one and only time I had a houseful of company for the Galveston Mardi Gras parade (my house was on the parade route) and guests distracted me talking in the kitchen momentarily and I slightly scorched a batch. I knew when I saw those flecks of pepper looking black, it was scorched and just tossed it and started again to be sure not to ruin the gumbo I was doing. Better safe than sorry.:)

      The carbalose roux, which I’ve only been experimenting with for a couple of years now, has been working just fine for me. I can get it dark rust color without burning or any bitterness. I’d be lying if I said the final roux results are quite as “nutty” tasting as regular flour roux, but enough of that nutty, browned flour taste is developed to give a depth of flavor you’re not going to get with no roux. 🙂 Can’t imagine doing Cajun food without a roux.

  4. Buttoni…I made this for lunch yesterday without the flour and it was WONDERFUL!!! my family was cooking gumbo for Mothers Day and i ate this one instead and it was nice to not feel like im missing out..Thanks

    • I’m so glad you liked this, Hope! Gotta have my Cajun food a couple times a month: either this, or my crawfish etouffee. 🙂

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