Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo

This gumbo from chef-owner Donald Link of Herbsaint in New Orleans owes its flavor to the roux, a mix of flour and oil that's cooked until it's coffee-colored.

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  • Servings: 15

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How to Make A Real Gumbo Roux


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 gallon plus 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 pound okra, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons filé powder (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Salt
  • Shelled and deveined shrimp (from the stock)
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Steamed rice, sliced scallions and Tabasco, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a stockpot, heat the oil. Add the shrimp shells and cook over high heat, until starting to brown, 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until it begins to stick to the pot, 2 minutes. Add the clam juice, onion, celery, carrot and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat for 25 minutes. Strain the stock into a heatproof bowl.

  2. In a saucepan, whisk the flour with the oil to make a paste. Cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the roux turns golden brown, 30 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and cook, stirring, until the roux is dark brown, 10 minutes longer. Scrape the roux into a bowl and reserve.

  3. In the stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic, onion and celery; cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the roux and cook until bubbling. Stir in the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until no floury taste remains; skim off the fat.

  4. In a skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the green pepper, okra, chile powder, paprika, filé, oregano, thyme, cayenne and white pepper. Season with salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in a ladleful of the liquid in the stockpot, scrape up the browned bits and transfer to the gumbo in the pot. Simmer, stirring, for 1 hour.

  5. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook, until just white throughout, 2 minutes. Stir in the crab; season with salt.


Filé powder is made from ground, dried sassafras leaves. It is available from

Suggested Pairing

Beer: Full-flavored Abita Turbodog.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published December 2008

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Aggregate Rating value: 4

Review Count: 3178

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Tracharity

Review Body: Made this dish for my pregant wife and two daughters tonight. I have to say at the beginning I thought I was burning the roux but it's supposed to be dark I'm guessing also I stopped using white bleached flour long ago I know use white whole wheat flour which I was worried about at first but then I said @$*/ that I know how to cook anyway prepped my shrimp made the stock . (p.s. don't use alot of water in that process trust me if I used less water it might have been a stronger stock I did throw so vegetable broth cubes in it to make stronger ) . When I finished making this dish they loved it now you know I had to make it my family friendly so no okra.  I was very surprised to see no sausage very surprised but hell I'm not eating it they are. I had some smoked ribs I did a couple nights ago that's my kinda eating plus crab and shrimp isnt my thang . Maybe the next time I make this I will taste it unless I have some que that is lol and I'll add some heat I went a lil light on them this time. Also I'll take a picture too.

Review Rating: 4

Date Published: 2016-07-08

Author Name: @PurpleSailboat

Review Body: This is a mouth-watering recipe.. I can't help it because it is so delicious looking.. I so love gumbo that much and I'll definitely be giving this a try very soon. Thank you for sharing your tips. :-)

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-07-11

Author Name: @GoldQuill

Review Body: You have a fantastic recipe and definitely the gumbo that will make your place rock!!!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-07-11

Author Name: @CyanRadio

Review Body: This has got to be addicting. I made this before but your recipe looks amazing and I'm going to try this next time. It's great to make an even better way to eat this kind..

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-07-11

Author Name: @GreenFish

Review Body: If I'll get a descent job, this is certainly the first thing I will going to make for dinner! lol.. Such an excellent recipe!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-07-11

Author Name: Martha Belchic-Loeb

Review Body: The absolute best seafood gumbo on earth-I left out the file'-

Date Published: 2016-12-13