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Louisiana Crab Gumbo from Mike Gulotta

Words: Brent Rosen
Photos: Randy P. Schmidt

Mike Gulotta makes an incredible roux. During the photoshoot for this piece on his Louisiana Crab Gumbo, we stood around chatting as the roux came together. What started tan and loose slowly darkened and thickened. When Gulotta added the red pepper and it began to carmelize, the roux turned almost black. It was a thirty minute process, and it was impressive from minute one.

Chefs to Watch Mike Gulotta Gumbo

Gulotta is known for taking traditional Louisiana and Vietnamese ingredients and finding their commonality. This recipe takes an otherwise traditional Louisiana Andouille sausage and crab gumbo  and gives it an eastern spin with the addition of black bean paste, ginger, lemongrass, and cinnamon. The result is a unique crab gumbo that that could come only from the kitchen of MoPho.

Now that the weather is turning cold and hunting season is beginning, it’s time to start the gumbo making in earnest. This crab gumbo recipe is the first one I’ll be trying over the weekend.

Louisiana Crab and Black Bean Gumbo
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Ingredients
  1. 8 gumbo crabs
  2. Vegetable oil
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 2 large yellow onion, diced
  5. ½ cup crab paste
  6. 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  7. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  8. 5 garlic cloves, minced
  9. 1-inch of ginger, peeled & minced
  10. 1 tablespoon chili paste
  11. ½ cup fermented black bean paste
  12. 2½ quarts seafood stock
  13. 1 stalk lemongrass
  14. 1 cinnamon stick
  15. ½ cup cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
  16. ½ cup fish sauce
  17. ¼ cup dried fermented black beans, rinsed
  18. 1½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  19. 2 leafs makrut lime
  20. 1 bunch green onions
  21. 1 (6 ounce) link Andouille sausage, sliced thick
  22. 2 cups thick sliced okra
  23. 1 pound jumbo lump Louisiana crab meat, picked
  24. 8 cups hot cooked Louisiana popcorn rice
  25. salt, fresh lime juice and hot sauce, to taste
Instructions
  1. Split gumbo crabs and lightly crush. Heat ½ cup vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot; add crabs and sauté until shells are bright red. Remove crab from pot to a large bowl. Deglaze pot with 1 cup water; pour over crabs and set aside. Wipe pot clean.
  2. Place flour in the cleaned pot. Slowly add 1 cup vegetable oil while whisking hard. Once lumps have are smooth, whisk in an additional ½ cup vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Continuously stir roux by scrapping along the bottom of the pot with a flat edged metal or wooden spatula. Once the roux turns a light brown, reduce heat to medium-low and cook roux until it is dark chocolate brown in color and nutty in aroma (this process should take around 20 to 30 minutes). Do not burn; if roux becomes burnt, discard and repeat process with fresh ingredients.
  3. Add chopped onions and crab paste to hot roux; sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped bell pepper, celery, garlic, ginger and chili paste; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in black bean paste. Slowly add seafood stock while stirring hard. Carefully beat the lemongrass stalk with the back of the knife to bruise, place the cinnamon stick on top and tie together with 1-foot of butcher’s twine; drop into the pot, leaving the end of the string tied loosely to one of the pot handles. Return the toasted gumbo crabs and its liquid to the pot and stir well. Stir in cilantro, fish sauce, dried fermented black beans, ground black pepper and makrut lime leafs; stir continuously.
  4. Once at a low boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes to an hour while stirring often along the bottom to prevent scorching. Skim away any foam, formed skin or pools of fat that accumulate at the surface.
  5. Before the gumbo is finished, thinly slice whites from green onions and place in a skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Slice remaining green onion tops and set aside. Once green onion whites have browned lightly, add sliced Andouille and okra; sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Deglaze with 2 tablespoons water and stir well. Evenly distibute crabmeat over top of Andouille mixture and do not stir for 1 minute; season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and gently stir, being careful not to break up any of the delicate jumbo lump crab nuggets. Keep warm; do not expose lump crab to anymore intense heat.
  6. Before serving, taste gumbo; adjust seasoning with salt, fresh lime juice and hot sauce. Serve generous portions of warm gumbo over the hot cooked Louisiana popcorn rice, being sure to include a half of a whole gumbo crab with each serving. Garnish with a spoonful of warm jumbo lump crab and Andouille mixture and a hearty sprinkle of sliced green onions tops. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
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Mike Gulotta Chefs to Watch Black Bean Gumbo
2017-01-12T13:07:26+00:00

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