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The Best Lady’s Finger Gumbo Recipe Ever

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Delicious gumbo with prawns, sausage in a dutch oven on a black table with bowl of white rice, horizontal view from above, close-upPin

Have you ever wished you could make the best lady’s finger gumbo recipe as good as they make in New Orleans? Well have I got the recipe for you! Your family is going to think they’re eating in the French Quarter.

Lady finger gumbo is a dish that originated in Louisiana in the southern United States The dish is very popular in New Orleans, which is known for some of the best gumbos . It is a stew made with okra along with other ingredients such as meat or seafood, onions, bell peppers, and celery.

Okra is Sometimes Called Lady’s Fingers

Lady fingers (Okras - Gumbos) on blue clothPin

Okra is sometimes called lady’s fingers or ladies fingers because of its shape and some consider it to be a an essential gumbo ingredient. Gumbo is a popular dish in Cajun and Creole cuisine and has West African origins, Native American, and European culinary influences. .

Some say that authentic gumbo has origins in different parts of Africa, South America and the Middle East. Either way, this thick stew is amazing and even better the next day.

Lady’s finger gumbo is a flavorful and hearty dish that is beloved for its complex combination of ingredients and spices. The okra gives the gumbo a unique texture and helps to thicken the stew, while the holy trinity of vegetables and the spices add depth and complexity to the flavor.

It is optional but it helps to make the best lady’s finger gumbo recipe ever!

A Secret Ingredient

Start of a roux that is light in colorPin

Some add filé powder or gumbo file as a secret ingredient to thicken the gumbo. If you spend enough time with your roux, you won’t need help with thickness.

Gumbo file or filé powder is a spice made from ground sassafras leaves. It is a key ingredient in some traditional Louisiana gumbo recipes, particularly in Cajun cuisine.

Gumbo file is used as a thickener and flavoring agent, and it is usually added at the end of the cooking process, after the gumbo has been removed from heat.

When added to gumbo, the file powder gives the dish a slightly sweet, earthy flavor and helps to thicken the stew.

It is important to note that while gumbo file is a traditional and popular ingredient in Louisiana cooking, it is not always used in every gumbo recipe, and some cooks prefer to thicken their gumbo with roux or okra instead.

Roux that is darker in colorPin

The meat or seafood provides protein and richness to the dish, and the rice served alongside the gumbo helps to balance out the flavors and provide a satisfying base. Additionally, the long cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and develop a rich, savory taste that is deeply satisfying and comforting.

All of these factors contribute to making lady finger gumbo a delicious and popular dish.

Main Ingredients For This Gumbo

The main ingredients in a classic lady’s finger gumbo recipe typically include

  • Fresh Okra or frozen
  • Meat or seafood such as chicken, sausage, shrimp, or crab
  • The “holy trinity” of Cajun and Creole cooking: yellow onions, bell peppers, and celery
  • Roux is a mixture of flour and fat used to thicken the gumbo
  • Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are optional and depend on the recipe
  • Spices and seasonings such as cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, and bay leaf
  • Chicken, seafood or shrimp stock or broth
  • Rice served as a side dish to the gumbo
Holy trinity vegetables cooking in a Dutch ovenPin

Here is The Best Gumbo Recipe Ever

Here is a recipe for gumbo with okra (which is also known as lady’s fingers) as one of the ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound okra, sliced – be careful not to add too much okra
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz or fresh tomatoes that have been stewed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 pounds of andouille sausage
  • 2 pounds of chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup of baby corns is optional
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
Holy trinity vegetables cooking in a Dutch ovenPin

Instructions

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. NOT high heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it turns a deep brown color, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the sliced okra to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes, until the okra is slightly browned and no longer slimy.
  4. Add the can of diced tomatoes, thyme, basil, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Slowly pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  7. Serve the gumbo over cooked white rice.

Note

Gumbo is a highly customizable dish, so feel free to adjust the seasonings or add additional ingredients to suit your tastes. Get creative! My family loves their gumbo a bit spicy with fresh herbs with fresh leaves and green onions! Store your leftover gumbo in an airtight container.

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