Gumbo is a quintessential Louisiana dish. It is the mother of all one-pots and features delicious Cajun veggies, flavourful gravy, and generous cuts of meat or fish. Today we show you how to make posh seafood gumbo, with lobster and scallops!
If you were looking for a unique dish to serve on a special occasion, we think you'll love this. We chose two mouthwatering shellfish that will wow your loved ones and land you high praises.
Both lobsters and scallops have a delicate flavour and meat-like texture that is hard to find in other seafood produce. They are the heroes of this dish, and as such, they need to stand out! So we have pan-seared and seasoned them separately before integrating them with the other ingredients.
This recipe is suitable for both pescatarians and flexitarians. We'll also show you how to make this gumbo (or any other) gluten-free. The traditional Lousiana recipe uses a mix of wheat-flour and fats (called a roux) to thicken the stock. Instead, we will make the roux with gluten-free rice flour.
Overall, this seafood gumbo gives you all the nutrients you need in a convenient one-pot dish. It has everything you want from a balanced meal, with 520 calories, lots of proteins (almost 80% of your RDI), fibres (20% of your RDI), and very few saturated fats (6% of your RDI).
And if you were concerned about having to cook lobsters or scallops for the first time, worry not! We promise it'll be quick and simple, with our thorough instructions below. Just have fun following along and enjoy!
What do you serve with gumbo?
Hot boiled rice is the classic companion to this Louisiana seafood dish, but you can also serve it with a potato salad or cornbread.
Alternatively, try pairing it with steamed greens or swap rice with quinoa.
Which are the classic gumbo spices?
As the gumbo recipe finds its roots in the Cajun and Creole culinary traditions, the classic spices used to prepare this soup include paprika and cayenne pepper.
The best seasoning for gumbo is the Cajun spice mix. You can find it ready-made at your local supermarket or prepare it yourself easily.
Just combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Which vegetables are used in gumbo?
The classic gumbo recipe includes celery, bell peppers, and onions. These three ingredients are also known as the "holy trinity" of the Creole/Cajun cuisine, and we have used them ourselves in this recipe.
Other vegetables often used in gumbo include okra, spinach, mustard greens, and turnips.
Can I make gumbo without okra or roux?
Thickeners like okra, roux, and filé powder are a staple ingredient in the classic gumbo recipe and they are often used in combination.
Seafood gumbo is frequently prepared with okra, which thanks to its peculiar fibres gives a gooey texture to the soup and helps to thicken it.
Roux, instead, is made by cooking oil with the same amount flour into a dark brown, thick sauce. In our recipe, we used rice flour to prepare a gluten-free version.
If you don't like cooked okra, you can keep the pods whole or stir-fry the slices with a little oil. Then, add them to the seafood soup at the very end.
You can also skip the okras altogether and make the gumbo just with the roux. Alternatively, you can substitute both with either cornstarch or arrowroot starch. Mix a few tablespoons of these starches with cold water until dissolved and then add the mixture to the soup for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
- Rapeseed Oil
- Rice Flour
- Red Onions
- Celery Sticks
- Red Peppers
- Yellow Peppers
- Cajun Seasoning
- Canned Chopped Tomatoes
- Fish Stock
- Okra Pods
- Wholegrain Rice
- Lobster Tails
- Spring Onions
Let's start by making the gluten-free roux.
In a pot, heat 3 tbsp the vegetable oil, add the rice flour, and cook the mixture for 5 minutes.
Always keep stirring whilst the roux turns from pale brown to dark brown.
Then, add finely chopped onions, celery, and bell peppers. Tip in the cajun seasoning and cook the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Check out our FAQ below for tips on how to make your Cajun-style spice mix.
Now, add canned chopped tomatoes, fish stock, and sliced okra pods.
Bring the broth to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, let's cook the rice.
Add the rice to a clean pot with boiling water and cook for 15 minutes, or follow packet instructions.
Then, drain it, season with salt to taste, and set it aside.
While the gumbo broth and rice cook, prepare the scallops.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the scallops. If you're using the frozen ones, make sure they're thoroughly defrosted first.
Sear the seafood for a few minutes on both sides until lightly browned (1).
Next, add the scallops to the tomato broth, cook them 5 minutes, and then remove the gumbo from the heat (2).
At this point, let's cook the lobsters.
Cut the tails down the middle with a sharp knife, then open the shell and pull the meat out, laying it on top of the cracked shell.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet, add the lobsters, and season them with salt, pepper, and parsley.
Pan-fry them for 6-8 minutes or until they turn bright red, turning the tails sideways and upside down to ensure they're evenly cooked (1).
Finally, serve the gumbo with the cooked rice and lobsters, and garnish it with chopped spring onions and parsley (2).
You can add a few handfuls of fresh spinach to the broth for the last 5 minutes of cooking time for an extra serving of vegetables.