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Poppy Tooker's Seafood Gumbo

My charming friend Poppy Tooker, the queen of Louisiana food media, is an inspiring role model. She's a terrific food writer, radio host, TV personality, and of course an ass-kicking cook. Below is her seafood gumbo recipe to prove it!

More on Poppy, her shows, and her fantastic books about Louisiana cuisine can be found on her website right here and on right here!

When Food Network chef Bobby Flay chose to "throw down" with Poppy Tooker to see who makes the best gumbo, he tangled with the wrong woman! Tooker walked away the winner, and now you can create the same dish in your very own kitchen.

Poppy Tooker's 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 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.

Make sure you don't skip the Crystal!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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