Poppy Tooker's Seafood Gumbo Recipe

Chef Poppy Tooker, New Orleans native and resident expert on all things cooking in Louisiana kitchens, shares her famous gumbo recipe.

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Seafood gumbo recipe.

A true taste of Louisiana cuisine is incomplete without savoring some of our legendary seafood. We recommend starting with our state’s renowned seafood gumbo — a dish that perfectly captures Louisiana’s melting pot heritage and vibrant coastal gastronomy.

Just ask Chef Poppy Tooker, a New Orleans native and well-known figure in the Louisiana culinary scene. Locals know Poppy for her active role in food and restaurant programs that support families and businesses in the community.

However, Poppy’s most recognizable moment is from her televised food showdown against Food Network star and chef, Bobby Flay. The two chefs battled it out to present judges with their tasty gumbos and crown the best cook. Poppy’s flavors received rave reviews, and she walked away the winner, proving even Bobby Flay can’t out-gumbo a Louisiana chef.

Create this unbeatable recipe it in your very own kitchen.

Ingredients for Seafood Gumbo:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 gumbo crabs
  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 pounds okra, sliced 1/4 inch
  • Oil for frying okra
  • 1-pound can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 gallon shrimp stock
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • Crystal Hot Sauce to taste

Method of Preparation:

  1. Peel shrimp and combine peels, onion skins and tops in a stock pot. Cover with water and boil for 20 minutes.
  2. Strain and reserve.
  3. Fry okra in very hot oil until lightly browned (or roast).
  4. Make a dark roux with the flour and oil, cooking to the color of milk-chocolate brown. Add onions, stirring together until the roux darkens to a bittersweet chocolate brown. Add celery and bell pepper. Sauté for five minutes, then add the gumbo crabs, tomatoes, okra, herbs and shrimp stock. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 45 minutes or longer.
  5. Ten minutes before serving, add shrimp and green onions. Add Crystal Hot Sauce and salt as needed. Serve on top of cooked rice.

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