Serving
(click to enlarge)

Catfish Gumbo
U.S. - Louisiana

Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4  
**
1-1/4 hr  
Yes
Delicious, traditional and easy to make. Gumbos are stews combining French, Spanish, African and other influences. With tomatoes (an Italian influence) this is clearly a Creole gumbo. Cajun gumbos are thickened with a very dark roux and never contain tomatoes.




1
5
5
5
2
8
14
2
2
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1/2
1/4
1/4
1/2
1/4
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#
oz
oz
oz
cl
oz
oz
T
c
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t
t
t
t
t
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Catfish (1)
Onions
Celery
Bell Pepper
Garlic
Okra fresh (2)
can Tomatoes, diced  
Oil
Stock (3)
-- Seasonings
Chili flakes (4)
Oregano dry
Thyme dry
Salt
Pepper
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Prep   -   (25 min)
  1. Cut CATFISH into about 1-1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Dice ONIONS, CELERY and BELL PEPPER small. Crush GARLIC, slice and chop small. Mix all.
  3. Cap OKRA and cut into about 3/8 inch slices.
Run   -   (45 min)
  1. In a heavy bottom pot heat Oil and fry Onion Mix stirring until onions are translucent but not at all browned.
  2. Stir in Okra, then Tomatoes (with juice), Stock and all Seasoning items. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in Catfish and simmer another 15 minutes. Do not break up the catfish by stirring.
  4. Check seasoning and serve with or over plenty of steamed long grain rice.
NOTES:
  1. Catfish:   Weight is boneless chunks or fillet. American channel cat is, of course, preferred, but frozen Vietnamese catfish (basa, tra, swai - thinner fillets) will also work. Fresh catfish chunks can go in "skin on" if desired. Here in Los Angeles Vietnamese cat comes as neatly frozen fillets while channel cat comes as the full "do it yourself" kit. For details see my Catfish Page.
  2. Okra:   Most recipes I see call for a 10 oz package of sliced okra, so I suspect fresh okra is not as available in other regions as it is in Southern California.
  3. Stock:   chicken, beef and fish stock are used, depending on what's on hand.
  4. Chili Flake   Here you can control hotness as you desire. I use Korean flake (it's what I always have on hand) and this amount will make a very mild gumbo. Use more or hotter if you like.
  5. Thickening:   I prefer my gumbo thickened with just the okra and served with plenty of rice. Most recipes agree with me but If you prefer it can be thickened further using a roux. For a Creole gumbo like this one the roux should be peanut butter color, not chocolate as for a Cajun gumbo. Don't overdo it - just a tablespoon of flour fried in the oil before adding the onions should do.
  6. Variations:  
    Shrimp are a common addition to catfish gumbo.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch>, ar=as required tt=to taste
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