Shellfish Gumbo Recipe

A winter stew from Iron Chef host and Food Network star Bobby Flay.


Shrimp Stock
2 tbsp canola oil
4 cups raw shrimp shells and tails
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 medium tomato, chopped, or 1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns

8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups shrimp stock (recipe above), or more if needed, hot
2 tbsp honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp canola oil, plus more for deep-frying the okra
1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
8 oz. okra, cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
1 lb. large (21-24) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
18 shucked oysters
6 oz. jumbo lump crab meat
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 green onions (green and pale green parts), thinly sliced


Shrimp Stock

Step 1: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the shrimp shells and tails, onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Add the wine and boil until reduced by half.

Step 3: Add 8 cups cold water, the tomato, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Reduce the heat to medium, cover partially, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Step 4: Strain the stock through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.


Step 1: Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook the roux, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it’s a light caramel colour, 5-7 minutes. Then stir in all the vegetables and the garlic, and cook until the mixture begins to turn a deep chocolate colour, about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Whisk the 4 cups hot stock into the roux mixture, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add more stock if the mixture is too thick. Season with the honey and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Meanwhile, heat 2″ of canola oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Put the cornmeal in a shallow baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Season the okra with salt and pepper, and toss it in the cornmeal. Fry the okra, in batches, in the hot oil until golden brown, 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt.

Step 4: Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add half of the shrimp to the pan and cook until just pink on both sides, about 2 minutes. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 tbsp oil and shrimp.

Step 5: Add the shrimp, oysters, and crab meat to the sauce and simmer until the oysters are plump and cooked through, about 1 minute. Divide the seafood among 6-8 shallow bowls, ladle in some of the sauce, and garnish with the fried okra, chopped parsley, and green onions.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

See more recipes from Bobby Flay.

Reprinted with permission from Bobby Flay’s Throwdown (2010 Clarkson Potter).