Question: What Gives Gumbo Its Flavor?

What spices are in gumbo file?

Filé powder, also called gumbo filé, is a spicy herb made from the dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum)..

Should gumbo be thick or soupy?

The one thing that really defines it, though, is the way it is thickened. 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.

What does gumbo mean?

noun, plural gum·bos. a stew or thick soup, usually made with chicken or seafood, greens, and okra or sometimes filé as a thickener. okra. soil that becomes sticky and nonporous when wet.

What oil is best for Roux?

A bacon roux makes the gumbo nice and smoky flavored.” Richard writes, “I use butter for blond roux and for anything darker I would use peanut oil, lard, vegetable oil, canola oil in that order of preference. Most fats work, but I never use olive oil as it gives a distinct unpleasant flavor to the roux.”

Do you need file powder for gumbo?

File powder is a key ingredient for Cajun and Creole cuisine, especially gumbo, where it is added as a seasoning and thickening agent. Generations before the Cajuns arrived in Louisiana, Choctaw indians were using the ground leaf of the native sassafras tree in their soups and stews.

Is file powder necessary for gumbo?

Do not add filé powder to the entire pot of gumbo. If gumbo is reheated with filé powder in it, the filé will become stringy and unpleasant.

How dark should gumbo roux?

After adding all the flour, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, about 45 to 60 minutes or until roux ranges from a peanut butter color to a dark brown (red brown or color of milk chocolate) and has a nut-like odor (it will be very thick and pasty).

What is gumbo supposed to taste like?

Filé gumbo is rich and earthy and has a fairly unfamiliar flavor (if you can, try to imagine unsweetened root beer—sassafras is also the main flavoring ingredient for root beer as well, and they share an earthiness). Gumbo tends to be heavily seasoned but is not typically burn-your-mouth spicy.

Is Roux better with oil or butter?

There’s no right or wrong to which fat you use; it just depends on what flavor you want. In a dairy-heavy sauce, like milky béchamel, butter is the common choice (and is also the more common fat in most French roux), while oil is often preferred in Creole and Cajun cooking. Butter, though, is more than just a fat.

What are good side dishes for gumbo?

Here are 10 incredible side dishes that will turn a tasty bowl of gumbo into an unforgettable meal.Rice. It’s probably the most traditional thing served with gumbo, and for good reason. … Cornbread. … Hush Puppies. … Cheese Bread. … Potato Salad. … Okra. … Corn on the Cob. … Fresh Salad.More items…•

Do tomatoes go in gumbo?

Tomatoes are most often found in okra gumbos, but I’ve had roux-based seafood gumbo that also contained tomato. … One point everyone can agree on is that gumbo is always served with rice. But that was not always the case.

How do you fix bland gumbo?

Cook your roux for a long time. I do for hours with onions, bell pepper, garlic etc. After everything has disintegrated drop your temp then add your meat with onions etc again. The flavor will come.

Why is my gumbo bitter?

“The reason is, once butter gets to a certain temp the fat and solids separate, this will occur before you get the roux to the color you want it, then the solids will begin to burn,” says Harden. This will leave your gumbo with a burnt bitter flavor, so instead opt for vegetable oil or even lard as the roux’s fat.

Is Gumbo a Creole or Cajun?

Louisianians claim the one true difference between the two cuisines is marked by their stylistic variations of gumbo. Creole gumbo is usually made with okra, tomato, and often a combination of meat and seafood, while the Cajun version contains meat or seafood, and is typically okra-free and made with a darker roux.

What are the 3 types of roux?

There are three types of roux: white, blonde and brown. They all contain the same ingredients—equal parts flour and fat—but the colors differ based on how long you cook the mixture.

Why does my roux taste like flour?

If it’s too dry (not enough fat), it’s hard to cook through without burning it. … You can cook it until it’s darker and it’ll add more caramel/nutty flavor (don’t burn it), but it has to be at least a golden color before it’s cooked enough to not taste of raw flour. When in doubt, taste it.

Is gumbo file illegal?

Sassafras has been found by the FDA to contain Saffrole, and supposed carcinogenic and so has been banned, this means that gumbo file powder is illegal. … Gumbo File powder used for thickening soups, most especially Cajun Gumbo, is made from picking the tiny, immature, spring leaves and drying them, then powdering them.

Is gumbo roux supposed to be thick?

That’s just a general rule of thumb I use to get the consistency I like. Some people like thick gumbo and some like thin. If in doubt, cook more roux than you think you need and take some out before you start putting the other stuff together. You can then add more roux if you want a thicker consistency.

How do you add flavor to gumbo?

And some cooks add garlic to the mix, which we entirely approve of. For the most flavor, use stock or broth in your gumbo instead of water. Whether you use chicken or vegetable stock, homemade or boxed, stock will give your gumbo more depth and complexity.

What does file do to Gumbo?

File powder is a seasoning made from the ground, dried leaves of the sassafras tree. It’s an integral part of Creole cooking, and is used to thicken and flavor Gumbos and other Creole dishes.

How much roux do I use for gumbo?

When doubling or tripling the recipe, keep in mind that you need 1 cup of roux per gallon of gumbo. The darker the roux, the less thickening power it has. The roux MUST be stirred constantly. Tip: Use a spatula.