Vegan adaptation of traditional southern American comfort food dish. Made with okra, capsicum, onions and creole seasoning, this dish is suitable for freezing and will nourish the hungriest of appetites.
I lived in the United States for many years, including in the ‘deep South’. Fried pickles, key lime pie and gumbo were often enjoyed, so this dish is somewhat of a sentimental favourite of mine.
Spicy Vegan Gumbo
Be sure to use fresh okra!
Look for firm green pods around 5 – 10cm long. If they’re soft or brown throw them away. Okra is used in this dish for its thickening properties and may take on a slightly ‘slimy’ texture when cooked. As unappealing as this might sound, it doesn’t indicate the okra are spoiled, nor should you be deterred from using them in the gumbo
What is gumbo?
Gumbo is a thick soup-like-stew and popular in the US state of Louisiana, where it is also the official state cuisine. The Creole “holy trinity” of celery, capsicum and onions are a must, together with a strongly-flavoured stock and thickener, typically okra.
Which rice is best for gumbo?
Gumbo is traditionally served over steamed white rice and topped with sliced spring onions..
Can gumbo be made ahead of time?
Gumbo is a great make-ahead dish! Gumbo will keep nicely in the fridge for up to three days.
Will gumbo freeze?
Yes! Gumbo will keep in the freezer in an airtight container for up to three months. Freeze any left overs in meal-sized portions and defrost on the counter overnight or in the microwave.
Which is spicier: gumbo or jambalaya?
Both dishes can consist of the same spices and ingredients. The difference is that with gumbo rice is served as a side and in jambalaya, the rice is incorporated in the dish.
Spicy Vegan Gumbo
- Casserole Dish – large
- Plate – Medium
- Bowl – Medium
- 2 Brown Onions
- 2 Celery Stick
- 2 Green Capsicum
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 300 g Okra
- 250 g Mushrooms
- 4 Tomatoes
- 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 4 tbsp Plain Flour
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
- 750 ml Vegetable Stock
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 240 g Kidney Beans
- 4 Spring Onions
- 500 g Cooked Rice
- Black Pepper
Prepare the vegetables
- Peel the onions and chop into small pieces.2 Brown Onions
- Trim the celery, chop into small pieces and add to the same plate as the onions.2 Celery Stick
- Cut the capsicums, de-seed and cut into small pieces. Add to the same plate as the onions and celery.2 Green Capsicum
- Peel and finely grate the garlic. Set aside in medium sized bowl.4 Garlic Cloves
- Trim the okra and cut into slices about 1cm thick and add to bowl with the garlic.300 g Okra
- Chop mushrooms into quarters and add to the bowl with the okra and garlic.250 g Mushrooms
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the bowl with mushrooms, okra and garlic.4 Tomatoes
Cook the Gumbo
- Put the casserole dish onto a medium heat and add the oil.4 tbsp Olive Oil
- Add onion, celery, capsicum and salt once the oil is hot. Cook until softened (around 10 minutes).2 Brown Onions, 2 Celery Stick, 2 Green Capsicum, ¼ tsp Salt
- Add garlic, okra and mushroom and cook for until the mushrooms are softened.4 Garlic Cloves, 300 g Okra, 250 g Mushrooms
- Reduce heat to low, add flour. Stir well to combine then cook for a further 7 minutes. Be sure to stir constantly to avoid the gumbo sticking to the pan.4 tbsp Plain Flour
- Once the gumbo is golden in colour, add tomato paste and tomatoes and stir for a couple of minutes.4 Tomatoes, 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- Add remaining ingredients (except rice and spring onions). Stir well then reduce to low heat and cook for around 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the gumbo doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.2 sprigs Fresh Thyme, 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tsp Smoked Paprika, ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1 tsp Dried Oregano, 1 tsp Tabasco Sauce, 750 ml Vegetable Stock, 2 Bay Leaves, 240 g Kidney Beans, Black Pepper
- Prepare rice to packet instructions.500 g Cooked Rice
- The gumbo is ready when it's nice and thick – somewhere between a soup and a stew. Serve with sliced spring onions and rice.4 Spring Onions