Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kosher Gumbo

This “gumbo” is non-traditional in many ways. First, it does not begin with a roux. In the past I have made gluten free gumbo by using masa harina in place of the flour for the roux. The masa harina worked great as a thickener, but I honestly prefer this roux-less version. In my humble opinion, the okra contributes all the thickener it needs. I also use less liquid than typical gumbo recipes, which produces a thicker stew. Second, there is no shellfish or pork in this gumbo. The only “meat” is cod – which means this gumbo is kosher. Alfred is Jewish, and though he does not maintain a strictly kosher diet, we don’t eat pork because it simply is not healthy. We did, however, want the gumbo to have the smokey flavor that pork typically imparts, so we added some smoked salt to the pot just before serving. You should be able to find smoked salt at specialty shops (I got ours at Sunspot Natural Market in West Lafayette) or you can purchase it through online spice vendors such as Penzey's. If you can't easily locate smoked salt, you can use regular salt and a little liquid smoke instead.

All in all this a lighter, but still hearty and tasty gumbo. It is also pretty quick and easy to prepare compared to traditional gumbo. Be sure to make enough so you have leftovers, like all soups, this gumbo is even better reheated the next day!

Kosher Gumbo
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, diced
1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
3 Celery Stalks, diced
2 Large Carrots, diced
1/2 Garlic Head, cloves peeled and minced
2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 15oz. Can Fired Roasted Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 lb. Okra, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
1 lb. Cod, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 teaspoon or Smoked Salt or 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt plus a teaspoon of Liquid Smoke
Cooked Rice for Serving

1)Heat a large pot over medium heat; coat the pot with the olive oil. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are translucent.
2)Add the broth to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, herbs and spices, and okra to the pot. Add enough water to the pot to just cover the vegetables. Bring the gumbo to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
3)Add the cod to the gumbo, gently stir to incorporate. Cover the gumbo and let simmer another 30 minutes.
4)Add the smoked salt (or sea salt and liquid smoke) just before serving. Taste and add additional sea salt as needed.
5)To serve, put about 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl and top with gumbo.

Bon Apetite!

As usual, I've also included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Friday Foodie, Family Food Fridays, and Friday Favorites. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!


  1. delicious and yummy. My mum was a vegan! I think she would love this:)

  2. Hi Stephen - If your mum is willing to eat a bit of fish I bet she would like this - it is almost vegan, but the cod adds a nice dose of protein and flavor. You should make some for her :) Thanks for stopping by!