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In Case You Missed Mardi Gras: Shrimp Gumbo with Crispy Okra

Shrimp Gumbo with Crispy Okra — HERO

It’s Mardi Gras season—so we’re giving New Orleans cuisine a much-deserved nod. This hearty gumbo puts shrimp front and center alongside thinly sliced, fried okra, then serves the rich stew atop a bed of steaming rice. (No matter your proximity to NoLa, it’ll be a party in your kitchen when you cook up this cozy dish with a kick.)

- Okra can seem slimy when sliced, which is completely normal! Its texture changes when fried.
- Toasting flour in fat creates a nutty, thickening roux. The raw flour taste is fully cooked out before any liquid is added to the pot.

¾ cup jasmine rice
8 ounces shrimp
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 green bell pepper
1 celery stalk
4 okra pods
1 yellow onion
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic
½ tablespoon tomato paste
⅓ cup flour, divided

3 tablespoons olive oil
3¼ cups water
kosher salt
black pepper
6″ small pot with lid
8″ medium pot
8″ small pan


1. Cook Rice

1. Cook Rice
In a small pot, combine rice, 1¼ cups water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until water is fully evaporated, 10-12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, then cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

2. Prepare Ingredients

2. Prepare Ingredients
While rice cooks, pat shrimp dry with paper towel and place on a plate. Season all over with half of spice mix and ½ teaspoon salt, then set aside. Rinse all produce. Halve bell pepper lengthwise, discarding seeds, then cut into ½-inch dice. Halve celery lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Cut okra crosswise into ½-inch rings (see Recipe Tip). Peel onion, halve, and mince. Drain diced tomatoes, discarding juices.

3. Saute Veg

3. Cook Shrimp and Aromatics
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium pot over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add shrimp and cook until opaque and just pink, 2-3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a new plate. Discard any liquid in pot, then add remaining butter over medium-high heat. Add whole garlic cloves, bell pepper, celery, onion, and remaining spice mix. Cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, about 1 minute more.

3. Cook Shrimp and Aromatics

4. Simmer Gumbo
Whisk 2 tablespoons flour into pot with aromatics over medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until flour is lightly browned, about 3 minutes (see Recipe Tip). Add diced tomatoes and 2 cups water. Whisk vigorously until flour is fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then return heat to medium and simmer until thick, about 10 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired.

5. Fry Okra

5. Fry Okra
While gumbo simmers, place remaining flour on a small plate. Pat okra dry with paper towel and toss in flour, pressing to adhere. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small pan over medium high. When oil is shimmering, take 1 slice okra, shake off excess flour, and add to pan. If it sizzles immediately, keep going; if not, try again once the oil is hotter. Fry okra until golden, 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towellined plate and season with ¼ teaspoon salt.

6. Plate Gumbo

6. Finish and Plate Gumbo
Remove and discard whole garlic cloves from gumbo and reduce heat under pot to medium low. Stir shrimp into gumbo to warm through, 2-3 minutes. Taste and add more salt and black pepper as desired. Serve shrimp gumbo over rice and garnish with crispy okra. Dig in!

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