How do you thicken gumbo after it’s cooked?

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A single cup of cornmeal can significantly thicken the gumbo without altering its taste and flavor while giving it a heartier texture. Combine 1 cup of cornmeal with a little bit of water and whisk until there are no lumps and the mixture is completely smooth. Add the mixture to the gumbo and stir well.

How do I fix my watery gumbo?

There are three ways to thicken gumbo, but the most commonly used method is to add roux. Roux, which is made with equal parts flour and butter and slowly cooked over low heat, is added to hot gumbo stock. The starch in the flour breaks down to become gelatinous, and gives heft to the stock without altering the flavor.

Can you add more roux to gumbo at the end?

The roux gets you only so far. Yes, you could increase the quantity of roux even more to thicken the gumbo further, but the toasted flavor and fat can really start to weigh the gumbo down if you get too roux-heavy.

What is used to thicken gumbo?

A traditional ingredient in gumbo, filé is a powder made from dried and ground sassafras leaves. It’s similar in function to okra, part seasoning, part thickening agent. “When there wasn’t okra available, they’d use filé,” Lionel explained. “People only use one or the other.

How do I thicken my gumbo roux?

The usual ratio of a roux is 1 part oil or animal fat and 1 part flour. Using lard or tallow enhances the flavor of your recipe. Animal fat is already flavorful and using it in your roux to thicken gumbo will result in a heavenly thick sauce!

How can I thicken gumbo without filé?

If you need an alternative for file powder you can use:

  1. For a thickening substitute you can use okra (typically included in Gumbo). You’ll need about 2 cups to replace 1 tablespoon of file powder.
  2. OR – Use cornstarch (lacks the root-beer like flavor).
  3. OR – Arrowroot powder (provides a clear product).

Why isn’t my gumbo thickening?

If you don’t use enough flour, the roux will be watery. “Often times people do not make the roux thick enough and it will result in a gumbo that is more like a soup than a stew,” says Dickensauge. You want to add enough flour to your fat until the roux is like a paste.

How do you reheat a gumbo roux?

To reheat roux-based or starch-based thick soups, place a thin layer of water or stock in a heavy-bottomed pot prior to adding the chilled soup. The thin layer of liquid on the bottom of the pot will help to prevent the soup from scorching as it heats.

How soupy should gumbo be?

Gumbo is much denser than a simple soup; the broth has a thick, almost viscous consistency. And that characteristic is most commonly created by making a roux, cooking flour and oil together until they thicken and darken. Otherwise, gumbo can be thickened with file, which is just powdered dried sassafras leaves.

How do you fix a separated gumbo?

If you end up with a separated roux, spoon out what you can… Make a new roux and add this new roux back in. If the original roux was a dark roux, if will separate as a sheet and not break into granules that sink or are too small to fish out with a spoon. It will not hurt the gumbo.

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Does gumbo file thicken gumbo?

File’ makes the gumbo thick if you let it set for awhile. Don’t add file’ to the gumbo during cooking or else it will make the gumbo thick and stringy. You can add a pinch to the pot at the very end of cooking to thicken the gumbo – but don’t add too much or or add it too early while the gumbo is still boiling.

Why is my roux not thickening?

If you add a cold roux to a cold liquid, it won’t dissolve or thicken. Likewise, adding a hot roux to a hot liquid will result in a lumpy sauce. You want to either cool the roux down and then add it to simmering liquid, or add cold liquid to the hot roux you just made.

Do you simmer gumbo covered or uncovered?

Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.

What is the secret ingredient in gumbo?

Dried Shrimp is the Secret Ingredient for Gumbo

Robert says his secret ingredient is dried shrimp. My husband swore by this secret ingredient to make a more flavorful gumbo.

Does okra thicken gumbo?

For many, OKRA, that spiny and slimy pod, is the only way to thicken a gumbo. Okra not only thickens a gumbo; it adds flavor. It is usually sliced and then sautéed with what many consider the holy trinity of gumbo-making: onions, celery and bell peppers. Okra gumbo has a subtler flavor than filé- or roux-based gumbos.

How thick should a gumbo roux be?

Find out how much roux you need: 3 ounces of roux per quart of liquid will thicken a sauce to a thin or light consistency. 4 ounces of roux per quart = medium body sauce. 5 ounces of roux per quart = thick sauce.

Is filé powder necessary for gumbo?

While you can certainly make gumbo without it, we like the spice’s earthy, slightly floral flavor. If you can’t find filé powder at a supermarket or gourmet store, order it from

What does filé powder do for gumbo?

Gumbo filé powder is the essential flavoring and thickening ingredient of gumbo and can also be used to perk up sauces and gravies. Gumbo file is generally added after the dish has been removed from the heat, but before it cools as it becomes stringy when cooked.

What can replace okra in gumbo?

To replace okra as a thickening agent in gumbo, soups, and stews, the best options are gumbo filé, roux, xanthan gum, corn starch, or nopales. Vegetables such as zucchini, green beans, and eggplant have a similar flavor and can replace okra as a side dish.

Can you put hot gumbo in the refrigerator?

Storing. Transfer leftover gumbo to small, shallow containers and place in the refrigerator or freezer. This allows the cold air to circulate throughout the gumbo, slowing bacterial growth and preventing your leftovers from spoiling.

How do you darken gumbo after cooking?

Add a couple pints of chicken stock and ~1/4 cup of the dark roux. Let it come together and reduce for about 10 minutes.
Some other ideas:

  1. Get my roux darker and use more of it.
  2. Swap out the white wine with a stout beer.
  3. Reduce the gumbo more after adding the stock/roux.

What do I do if my roux is too thin?

Whisk the flour into the fat until you have a smooth, thick sauce. If it’s too thick to whisk, add a little more fat. If it’s too thin, add more flour.

Can you save a roux?

In general, it doesn’t hurt to make too much roux because you can always store it in the fridge and use it later. Roux keeps very well in a sealed, airtight container. You could make it and store it for a week or even up to a month before you use it. Roux is made by cooking fat with flour.

Can you reheat roux sauce?

If you’re a slow enough eater the sauce will eventually separate right in front of you; that’s just what happens when you have water and fat in the same sauce. Best to reheat on the stove top in that case, and stir frequently to prevent any further separation.

Can gumbo be reheated?

Once the gumbo has thawed, you can reheat it in a saucepan on the stove. Reheat the gumbo until it reaches around 165°F, or heat it on medium-high heat until the gumbo is piping hot. If there is any leftover gumbo that has been reheated, you will either have to eat it then or discard of it.

Why is my gumbo slimy?

The so-called slime is something called mucilage, which comes from sugar residue and is great for, say, thickening gumbo, but not great when you’re biting into a piece of sautéed okra and averse to that viscous texture.

Should gumbo have tomatoes?

Turns out, your preference for tomatoes in gumbo comes down to whether you learned your skills from a Cajun cook or a Creole cook. (Learn about the difference here.) Cajun gumbo does not include tomatoes in the base, but Creole gumbo (typically shellfish or seafood gumbo) does call for tomatoes.

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How do you fix a broken roux in gumbo?

I only found one fix for a separated roux, which is taking pre-made cold roux from “roux in a jar” (which I don’t normally use) and mixing it into the gumbo with the broken roux, and then bringing the whole thing to a boil for a few minutes. (I like Savoie’s Old Fashioned Dark Roux).

Why does my roux keep separating?

If it’s too cold it hardens the butter, and if it’s too hot it can separate the roux. The way roux thickens a liquid is by the starch molecules in the flour absorb the liquid and expand, becoming slightly gelatinous, which creates the effect of thickening the sauce.

How do you keep gumbo roux from breaking?

To help prevent the roux from breaking or separating in your finished dish, make sure the roux and the liquid (water or stock) are at similar temperatures. Don’t add cold roux to hot liquid or vice versa. Also, gradually add one to the other, whisking constantly between additions.

Does gumbo need okra?

A lot of people don’t like okra or think they don’t like okra. But it’s a very important part of this gumbo, adding both flavor and acting as a thickener.

How do you make a roux thicker?

1 Tbsp. flour mixed with 1 Tbsp. of butter or other fat should yield enough roux to thicken 3/4 to 1 cup of warm liquid. To avoid lumps forming, slowing whisk liquid into the roux and simmer until mixture thickens.

What temperature does roux thicken?

The cooking temperature, but not the choice of wheat flour, affected the thickening power of roux. Cooking wheat flour roux to low temperatures (120–160°C) increased the thickening power over the uncooked roux. Cooking to progressively higher temperatures reduced the thickening power.

How do you thicken a roux without flour?


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once the butter has melted, add 1/3 cup (1 scoop) of unflavored Whey protein isolate.
  3. Use a small whisk to mix it until it’s completely incorporated.
  4. Keep mixing it until it’s become thick and bubbly.

Is gumbo better the next day?

As we mentioned earlier, the roux flavor will blend with the stew over time. This means that the gumbo will taste even better on the second or third day after cooking it. So, if you want your gumbo to taste its best, allow it to sit overnight in the fridge so that the seasonings and roux can blend together.

Why is my gumbo oily on top?

Cooking gumbo usually includes making a homemade stock and using a certain amount of fat, which adds tons of flavor. That same fat can end up in an oil slick at the top of the pot, leaving your gumbo with an unappetizing greasiness.

How do you add flavor to gumbo?

Bonus Tips and Tricks

  1. Grill meats or roast garlic on the grill before adding to the pot for a good rustic flavor.
  2. When using wild meats cut the game taste with beer or white wine.
  3. Add crawfish tails or oysters.
  4. Add crabmeat if you don’t want to peel the crabs.
  5. Food process veggies to hide them in the gumbo.

How often should you stir gumbo?

Now you have cooked chicken and broth for the gumbo. Once you’ve added the chicken and the broth, bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Does gumbo take all day to cook?

Bring the gumbo to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for at least 3 hours or up to all day (the longer the better for flavors to blend). The gumbo should be the consistency of stew.

Can you put frozen shrimp in gumbo?

Shrimp is an essential part of our gumbo that adds the subtle flavor of seafood. You can always defrost frozen shrimp the day before, but if you forget, check out our video on quickly defrosting shrimp below. Preparing your onions, bell peppers, okra, and sausage can be done 4 days ahead of time.

How long should gumbo simmer?

While simmering, saute sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Add sausage to gumbo. Taste gumbo and season lightly with salt. Simmer for 2 hours.

When should I add okra to gumbo?

Cook over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the okra to the casserole and simmer until tender, 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken meat and season the gumbo with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Discard the bay leaves, ladle the gumbo over rice, garnish with the scallions and serve with Tabasco.

Is celery a thickener?

No two bowls are the same, though it is commonly agreed upon that there should be (at the very least) a flavorful and aromatic stock, some sort of protein (usually meat or seafood, no pork unless it’s cured), seasonal vegetables (most commonly onions, bell peppers, and celery), and some sort of thickening agent.

How do you know when a roux is done?

You’ll know the roux is ready when it turns brown and smells of roasted peanuts, about 12 to 15 minutes. A white roux forms the base of the creamy sauce that gives this baked broccoli gratin dish its signature smooth texture.

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Is Cajun seasoning the same as filé powder?

They won’t quite give you the same flavor as the filé powder you’re leaving out, but they will help make the gumbo more unique to you. You can also try other Cajun seasoning, creole seasoning in your okra gumbo or any other gumbo recipe.

What can I use instead of filé powder?

Top 5 Filé Powder Substitutes

  • Okra. Okra. Okra is a typical ingredient in traditional gumbo.
  • Roux. Roux. Roux is a common starter for many kinds of sauces, soups, stews, and desserts.
  • Cornstarch. Cornstarch. Cornstarch is a common thickening agent in almost everything.
  • Arrowroot Powder. Arrowroot powder.

What is gumbo filet seasoning?

Filé powder, also known as gumbo filé, is an herbal powder made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum), native to eastern North America. The roots and bark of this same plant were the original base for root beer.

Is Creole seasoning the same as Cajun seasoning?

The main difference between Creole and Cajun seasoning blends comes down to the ingredients: Cajun seasoning features an array of ground peppers—black, cayenne, and white—while Creole seasoning is more herbal, with recipes often containing oregano, thyme, rosemary, and paprika.

Is filé powder safe?

It used to be frowned upon for human consumption because the plant contains a weak carcinogen called “safrole.” It’s been determined that, while the roots and bark of sassafras contain significant amounts of safrole, the leaves do not contain enough safrole to even be detected by normal testing, and filé powder has …

What does gumbo mean in Africa?

Consider the word “gumbo” which comes from the West African word “ki ngombo” for “okra”. West Africans used okra as a thickener in their version of the dish. The original West African gumbo has been described as stew-like, thickened with okra, and containing fish and shellfish.

What do you serve with gumbo?

Best Side Dishes to Serve with Gumbo

  1. Rice. The classic accompiant to gumbo.
  2. Potato Salad. We recognize this dish from BBQ’s and cookouts, but it’s also great with gumbo.
  3. Coleslaw.
  4. Sweet Potato Salad.
  5. Fried Okra.
  6. Cornbread.
  7. Deviled Eggs.
  8. Cornbread Dressing with Sausage.

What is the difference between gumbo and jambalaya?

The main difference between these two dishes is their use of rice. Gumbo is really a soup or stew that’s often served over a little rice, while jambalaya is made with the rice cooked into the dish, making the grain an integral part of it.

How much okra do I substitute for cornstarch?

As a thickening agent, cornstarch is often preferred to flour because it’s twice as a thickening and the resulting product is tasteless and transparent. You can use cornstarch as an okra substitute by stirring one tablespoon of cold water with two teaspoons of cornstarch and adding it to your recipe.

Can you reheat gumbo twice?

Kitchen Fact: While food can be safely reheated multiple times, the quality decreases each time. Reheat only what you plan to eat. As long as you reheat the leftovers to at least 165°F each time, the food’s technically safe to eat.

How long will gumbo last in the refrigerator?

It can be assembled and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months. The gumbo can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and frozen for up to 6 months. It’s best to freeze in individual portions, preferably with 1/2 cup or so of cooked rice placed in the container.

How do I fix my watery gumbo?

In case you end up with a runny, liquid gumbo, one of the best ways to thicken it would be by adding some all-purpose flour mixed with cold liquid.

How can I thicken gumbo without file?

If you need an alternative for file powder you can use:

  1. For a thickening substitute you can use okra (typically included in Gumbo). You’ll need about 2 cups to replace 1 tablespoon of file powder.
  2. OR – Use cornstarch (lacks the root-beer like flavor).
  3. OR – Arrowroot powder (provides a clear product).

How do you thicken gumbo without a roux?

The other two methods of thickening gumbo stock are using filé (dried sassafras leaves) or simply letting okra and the vegetable trifecta of onions, bell pepper, and celery cook down.

How do you make a watery sauce thicker?

The most readily available sauce-thickener is flour. For a too-thin sauce, try adding a slurry (equal parts flour and water, whisked together) or beurre manie (equal parts softened butter and flour, kneaded together to form a paste)—both are ideal thickeners for rich and creamy sauces, such as steak sauce recipes.

What if my roux is not thickening?

If you add a cold roux to a cold liquid, it won’t dissolve or thicken. Likewise, adding a hot roux to a hot liquid will result in a lumpy sauce. You want to either cool the roux down and then add it to simmering liquid, or add cold liquid to the hot roux you just made.

Why is roux not thickening?

It’s important to understand, however, that as a roux colors, it loses its ability to thicken because the starch in the flour is broken down by the heat. You’ll need more brown roux than blond roux to thicken the same amount of liquid. A truly dark roux won’t thicken at all.