Hailing from Creole and Cajun cuisine, gumbo is a hearty stew containing a blend of meat and vegetables. Popular in the US and other parts of the world, the dish can be served over a bowl of rice or enjoyed on its own. These days everyone has their own version of gumbo, but head over to Texas, and Houston Gumbo is one of the best you’ll ever find! Read on to find out how to bring the taste of the best gumbo Houston to your kitchens!
Nutrition Facts (2 Person serving)
- Calories 400 calories
- Fat 18g
- Protein 42g
- Carbohydrate 19.6g
- Cholesterol 162mg
- Sugar 9g
- Vitamin a 53.68mcg
- Vitamin c 24mg
- Vitamin d 0.48mcg
- Iron 3.16mg
- Calcium 131.76mg
Best Gumbo Recipe in the World
If you ask every Louisiana or New Orleans person, they will say their mother or grandmother makes the best gumbo in the world. Undoubtedly, each recipe is the best in its own way, but if you want to get a taste of authentic and heartwarming gumbo, try this recipe below!
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup shrimp broth
- 1 tbsp filé powder
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste
- 2 large onions, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 1 cup bell peppers, diced
- 2-3 celery sticks, diced
- 1 pound seasoned and cooked shrimp
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 6 ounces of andouille sausage, sliced
- 2 cups chopped okra
- Bay leaves
- Scallions and parsley for garnish
Making a balanced roux is the best way to boost your gumbo’s flavor, so follow this step properly. The roux is made by using some sort of fat, usually oil (it could be butter or lard as well). To the oil, add all purpose flour and cook it for a few minutes until it turns a deep, caramel color. Do not let it burn and turn black. Otherwise, you will have to start all over again.
- Add the olive oil to a skillet and cook the sausages until crispy and golden in color.
- Remove the sausage slices and set aside.
- In the same pan with the grease from the sausages, sauté the onions, celery, and bell peppers.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, make the roux.
- Add oil to the pan and once warm, add the all-purpose flour and mix well until thick paste forms.
- Stir in the garlic paste, the seasonings, tomato paste, and the can of tomatoes.
- Next, add in the sauteed vegetables and sausages and stir well.
- Add in the chicken and shrimp broth and mix.
- Allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, uncovered.
- Once reduced and thickened, add the okra and bay leaves and let them cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and filé powder, and mix well.
- Garnish with scallions and parsley. Pour over a bowl of steamed rice, or enjoy it on its own!
What is the Secret Ingredient in Gumbo?
Different recipes call for different secret ingredients, but the one that makes the best gumbo in Houston restaurants is the roux. Roux is a mixture of flour, and some sort of fat, usually oil; butter or lard also adds extra depth and richness of flavor. If the roux is well made, the final dish does wonders for your tastebuds! If you want to go the extra mile, do try these extra secret ingredients as well:
- Chicken stock
- Marinated chicken
- Fresh sausages
- Rotel tomatoes
- Smoked turkey necks or smoked duck
- Bay leaves
- Pureed okra
- Fresh vegetables
How to Store Leftover Gumbo?
Before storing the gumbo, let it cool down to room temperature. Then pour it into a tightly sealed glass container and pop it in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze it for up to three months without spoiling, but it’s best to use it before. When you want to use the frozen gumbo, just leave it out on the countertop or in the fridge to defrost. Warm it up in a pan and enjoy!
Why Do People Put Tomatoes in Gumbo?
Whether you put tomatoes in your gumbo or not might trace back to the fact that you are following a Cajun gumbo recipe or a Creole gumbo recipe. Both are delicious, but they have their own way of creating this comfort food. Creole dishes often incorporate tomatoes, and Cajun dishes do not. Adding tomatoes boils down to your preference, but people usually add them to the stew because the acidity of the vegetable balances out the meats well. It also adds a tangy flavor and makes the gumbo base thick and rich.
Do You Cook Gumbo Covered or Uncovered?
Gumbo is cooked best uncovered and simmered slowly for several hours. Only then do the ingredients release their flavors and create a delightful and wonderful dish.
How Do You Make a Gumbo Taste?
Gumbo is such a versatile dish; you can add so many things to make it taste great. Most recipes call for sautéed vegetables like onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, or cilantro as the foundation ingredients, and then the meat according to your taste and preferences. Using broth instead of water also really brings out the taste of the dish, so consider this when following any gumbo recipe.
Tips & Tricks to Improve My Gumbo Flavor
Want to take your gumbo one step further? Follow these tips and tricks to improve and give a richer flavor.
- Do not let your roux overbrown and get burnt. The color should be the shade of caramel to a rich chocolate brown. Anything darker than that will give a burnt flavor to the dish.
- No gumbo is complete without the holy trinity: bell peppers, onions, and celery. These ingredients are the very foundation of the recipe, so do not forget them!
- Using broth gives the best depth of flavor. You can use chicken broth for chicken gumbo, shrimp broth for seafood gumbo, or a combination of both!
- Let it simmer. One of the key tips is to cook the gumbo slowly and uncovered so that the flavors can be brought out well. The taste you get from a gumbo simmered for several hours is like no other!
20 Best Gumbo Houston
The list of best gumbo is endless, but when visiting Houston, do try these top 20 places!
Restaurants Price Ratings
- Eunice – Price $14.00 – Rating 4.5/5 stars
- Ducote’s Gumbo House – Price $7-$14.00 – Rating 5/5 stars
- Bayou City Seafood & Pasta – Price $100 for two – Rating 4/5 stars
- Brennan’s of Houston – Price $31.00-$61.00 – Rating 4.5/5 stars
- Goode Company Seafood – Price $100.00 for two – Rating 4/5 stars
- BB’s Tex Orleans – Price $35.00 for two – Rating 4/5 stars
- Grace’s – Price $11.30 – Rating 4.5/5 stars
- Esther’s Cajun Café and Soul Food – Price $25.00 – Rating 3.5/5 stars
- Zydeco Louisiana Diner – Price $25.00 -Rating 4.5/5 stars
- Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen $60.00 for two 4.5/5 stars
- Abe’s Cajun Market – Price $40.00 for two – Rating 4.5/5 stars
- Rouxpour Restaurant and Bar – Price $75.00 for two – Rating 4/5 stars
- Le’ Pam’s House of Creole – Price $7.95 – Rating 4.5/5 stars
- Lucille’s – Price $17.25 – Rating 4/5 stars
- Treebeards – Price $14.00 – Rating 4/5 stars
- Crescent City Beignets – Price $10.95 – Rating 4/5 stars
- Nola G’s Cajun Creole – Price $8.50 -Rating 4/5 stars
- Lotus Seafood – Price $6.49 Rating 4/5 stars
- Crawfish Café – Price $7.50 – Rating 4/5 stars
- Redcrab – Juicy Seafood – Price $9.50 – Rating 4.2/5 stars
15 Best Gumbo Houston
We asked different people what the best gumbo places in Houston were, and here are the results. Be sure to check them out whenever you head down south!
Restaurants: Customer Reviews
- Eunice: Bonnie A Bonnie – A on Tripadvisor states that this is a “one stop gumbo shopping” and the perfect place to satisfy the cravings for gumbo and other dishes.
- Ducote’s Gumbo House – Marti Davalos – With a rating of 5/5 stars, Marti Davalos writes on Facebook that the seafood gumbo was delicious and that he is ready to place his next order.
- Brennan’s House of Houston – 18487Dxcarlr – 18487Dxcarlr on Tripadvisor avers “southern cooking done right.” They appreciated the service and the quality of the food alongside the price, which was quite reasonable.
- Grace’s – thederrickator – states on Tripadvisor that this was the best gumbo they had tried in Houston, although it was a bit pricy.
- Le’ Pam’s House of Creole – Yohonor – on Tripadvisor states that Le’ Pam’s House of Creole is just “like going home.” The restaurant gives the authentic taste of Louisiana gumbo and its dishes.
- Abe’s Cajun Market – Justin H Justin H – on Yelp avers that Abe’s chicken and sausage gumbo is just like authentic cuisine.
- Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen – Nelson M Nelson – on Tripadvisor writes that this is a popular place. They mainly deal with seafood, but the other dishes, like gumbo, are delicious. The serving sizes are plentiful and can be enough for two.
- Zydeco Louisiana Diner – Daniel N Daniel N – on Yelp states that this place serves amazing Cajun food as always. The side dishes are amazing, and the gumbo is “wonderful.”
- Bayou City Seafood & Pasta – Planky74 – on Tripadvisor avers that the restaurant serves “great Cajun food.” These dishes, like red beans and gumbo, are wonderful and pay true homage to Louisiana food.
- Esther’s Cajun Café and Soul Food – Shanty G Shanty G – on Yelp writes that this place is the perfect local place to visit when heading to Houston. The service, ambiance, and food are described as phenomenal. If you are looking for the best gumbo places in Houston, check this out!
- Lucille’s – bekwilki79 – on Tripadvisor claims, “run…don’t walk to Lucille’s”. If you are looking for soul and comfort food like gumbo, and other traditional Louisiana cuisine, head over to this place.
- Nola G’s Cajun Creole – Darin LaMar Baskin – on Bark mentions that the restaurant does New Orleans cuisine like no other. Head over for one of the best gumbo places in Houston.
- Lotus Seafood – Trinasweets – on Tripadvisor mentions that she was “satisfied.” The place was small, but the food, ambiance, and service were excellent.
- BB’s Tex Orleans – Ronda Sanfordd – states they had a delicious lunch when they visited.
- Crescent City Beignets – Jveronicayork – on Tripadvisor writes that “their beignets are the best!”. Longside this, the Cajun food is done really well, especially the comfort food, gumbo.
Head over to Houston, Texas, in winter if you are looking for good food that comforts the soul. Paying homage to Creole and Cajun cuisine, the different restaurants in Houston serve hearty meals, such as the best gumbo dishes and much more. But if you cannot make it, fear not; try the hearty and authentic gumbo recipe above, and your cravings will be satisfied!
Feature image: Pixabay
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