Gumbo bowl with okra and kidney beans recipe

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Gumbo’s distinct flavor comes from the roux, a sauce mixture of fat and flour that is cooked first in the bottom of the pot. The darker the roux, the more flavor it has. However, the long cooking time required reduces the thickening ability of the roux. For that reason, gumbo is thickened with either okra or filé powder (ground sassafras leaves). The challenge is to make a roux worthy of a gumbo, but accomplish it much faster.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 2¼ cups water
  • 1½ cups long-grain white rice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 6 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen sliced okra, not thawed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dulse flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
How to Make It
  1. Combine the water, rice and salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to simmer over low heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, still covered, for 10 minutes to steam. Fluff before serving.
  2. Roux
  3. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the roux is dark chocolate brown, 10 to 15 minutes. If the roux starts smoking, remove the pan from the heat, stir well and return to the heat. Add the broth 1 cup at a time, whisking after the addition of each cup. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, until needed.
  4. Soup
  5. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves, thyme, mustard, red pepper flakes, allspice, and frozen okra. Stir well and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, dulse, salt, and pepper to the pot. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes. Add the roux-broth mixture. Add the beans and cook until the flavors are combined and the soup thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the gumbo in bowls, add rice to the gumbo, and sprinkle with scallions.

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