Fresh Fish & Dried Shrimp Gumbo

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 10m
Ready In

Recipe: #22455

January 10, 2016

"You can use whatever fresh fish you like in this recipe. Adapted from the Prudhomme Family Cookbook."

Original is 4 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (549.5 g)
  • Calories 647.5
  • Total Fat - 35.7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 6.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 94.8 mg
  • Sodium - 822 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 53.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2.3 g
  • Sugars - 1.8 g
  • Protein - 27.2 g
  • Calcium - 81.2 mg
  • Iron - 2.7 mg
  • Vitamin C - 12.9 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.4 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Place shrimp and 2 cups hot water in a bowl and soak for about 2 minutes.

Step 2

Peel off and discard any shrimp shells.

Step 3

Place shrimp in another bowl with the remaining hot water.

Step 4

Add the first 2 cups of water to the second bowl and set aside.

Step 5

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot and just short of smoking, about 3 minutes.

Step 6

Using a long-handled whisk or wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the hot oil, whisking or stirring constantly until smooth.

Step 7

Cook, stirring or whisking constantly, until roux is light medium brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 8

Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until roux is medium brown, 1 to 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Be very careful that it does not scorch or splash on your skin.

Step 9

Remove from heat and continue stirring until roux stops getting darker, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Step 10

In a heavy 6-quart skillet or Dutch oven, combine the 2 quarts water with the onions, peppers, celery, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, shrimp and 2 cups soaking water. Discard remaining soaking water.

Step 11

Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 12

Add the roux by spoonfuls, blending each spoonful in before adding more.

Step 13

Continue cooking about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming any fat that accumulates.

Step 14

Add green onions and fish, increase heat to high, and cook just until the fish is cooked, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming fat if necessary. Do not overcook the fish. Add salt if necessary.

Step 15

To serve, divide the rice among 4 soup bowls and ladle the gumbo over it. Be sure that some of the shrimp and fish is in each serving.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • When selecting the fish for this recipe, try to find a firm-fleshed fish such as bass, cod, or snapper.
  • Be sure to check the label of the dried shrimp to make sure they are preservative free.

  • Instead of vegetable oil, use olive oil. The benefit of this substitution is that olive oil is a healthier option and has a more robust flavor.
  • Instead of freshwater bass, use cod. The benefit of this substitution is that cod is a more widely available and affordable fish.

Seafood Gumbo Substitute the bass fish with a combination of other seafood, such as clams, mussels, shrimp, and crabmeat. Increase the amount of seafood to 1 1/2 pounds and reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes.

Cornbread: Cornbread is the perfect accompaniment to this hearty gumbo. The sweetness of the cornbread complements the savory flavors of the gumbo and adds a delicious crunch. It's also a great way to soak up all the delicious broth!

Coleslaw: Coleslaw is a great addition to this gumbo. The creamy slaw adds a cool, crunchy contrast to the spicy gumbo. It's also a great way to add some freshness to the dish and make it a complete meal. Plus, it's a great way to get some extra veggies in!


Q: What type of fish is best for this recipe?

A: Freshwater bass is best for this recipe, but you can use whatever fresh fish you like.

Q: How long should I cook the fish for?

A: The cooking time for the fish will depend on the thickness of the fillet. For a 1-inch thick fillet, cook for 8-10 minutes. For a 1/2-inch thick fillet, cook for 4-5 minutes.

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Fun facts:

This recipe is adapted from the Prudhomme Family Cookbook, which was written by Chef Paul Prudhomme, who was credited with popularizing Cajun cuisine in the United States.

The dish is a classic example of Louisiana Creole cuisine, which is a mix of French, Spanish, African, and Native American cultural influences.