This Seafood Gumbo with crab, clams, and shrimp, is easy to make and perfect for the holidays. Made traditionally with okra, it’s a Southern favorite everyone can make at home.
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How to make Seafood Gumbo
This easy Seafood Gumbo recipe is made with fresh shrimp chopped into bite size pieces, lump crab and crab claw meat, and clams. I make my Seafood Gumbo without sausage because we don’t have andouille sausage around here, and also we love seafood and I didn’t feel like it would need sausage.
A traditional gumbo is make with a roux of either melted butter or oil combined with an equal amount of flour. The mixture is cooked until dark brown, also some prefer a lighter roux. Mine is in between, as you can see.
The “holy trinity” of chopped onions, celery, and bell pepper (normally green, but my garden peppers had started to turn red) is added to the cooked roux and sauteed until the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are just starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
Pour in chicken stock or seafood stock, and add sliced okra. If you have never cooked with okra before, you will be surprised to find that it is slimy inside. It is this slime that thickens the gumbo.
In some recipes filé powder is used to thicken the gumbo after it is removed from the heat or sprinkled on individual bowls. It can be hard to find in the Northeast, but is available online or in specialty stores. I choose to add a little ground saffron to my gumbo to give it flavor, but it is very expensive and completely optional.
After the vegetables have simmered for twenty minutes, stir in the chopped shrimp and crab. Add in the clams and continue to simmer until the clams open about ten minutes later.
Here are a few more seafood recipes for you to try:
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- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups sliced okra
- 8 cups chicken stock (or seafood stock)
- 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
- 1 pound raw shrimp , peeled, tails removed, and deveined
- 8 ounces lump crab meat picked through for shells
- 8 ounces crab claw meat picked through for shells
- 1 pound littleneck clams , rinsed of sand and scrubbed
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning
- pinch ground saffron (optional)
- 2 cups cooked long grain white rice , for serving
- Place fresh littleneck clams in a clean sink full of cold water. Let the clams sit in the water for a while, then stir the clams, drain and refill the sink. Repeat until no sand remains at the bottom of the sink. Keep the clams cold in the sink or refrigerator while you prepare the gumbo.
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot, preferably a cast iron dutch oven, over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, a little at a time. Continue whisking until the mixture is a roux between medium and dark chocolate brown, between 10-15 minutes.
- Stir the chopped onions, celery, and peppers into the roux. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are just beginning to soften.
- Pour in the chicken or seafood stock. Stir in sliced okra and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, peel, devein, and chop the shrimp. Check the crab meat for shells.
- After 20 minutes, stir in the chopped shrimp and crab meat. Add in the clams, and continue simmering, stirring every few minutes, until all the clams open. Discard any that won't open when tapped after 10-15 minutes of simmering.
- Serve over cooked rice for a traditional gumbo. Top with a small pinch of saffron before serving, if desired.