Commander’s Palace Seafood Gumbo

Commander’s Palace in New Orleans is famous for its gumbo and chef Tory McPhail serves up some of the best in town.

  • By Chef Tony McPhail, Commander's Palace, New Orleans
  • November 1, 2011


    3 cups diced onions

    2 cups diced green bell peppers

    1 28-oz can diced tomatoes

    1 cup tomato sauce

    1½ tsp thyme, dried

    1½ tbsp minced garlic

    4 bay leaves

    ½ tsp salt

    ½ tsp freshly ground pepper

    1½ lbs frozen cut okra, defrosted (or fresh, if you can find it)

    2 quarts seafood stock*

    2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined

    2 dozen oysters, shucked

    1 lb lump crabmeat

    2 tbsp filé powder (ground dried sasafras leaves; available at specialty food stores.)


    Combine onions, peppers, tomatoes with juice and tomato sauce in a heavy, 8-quart pot. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper; blend well and simmer for 10 minutes.

    Add okra. When okra is bright in colour and is cooked but still crisp, add stock. Bring to a rapid, rolling boil, then lower heat. Add shrimp, oysters and crab meat and simmer for 15 minutes longer.

    Combine filé powder with 1 cup of the soup liquid. Remove gumbo from heat and stir in the filé-soup mixture. Correct seasoning to taste. Serve over cooked rice and season to taste with Tabasco sauce.

    *Fish or seafood stock can be found at most specialty food stores, including Whole Foods. You can also make your own by boiling shrimp shells and/or fish bones, carrots, celery, salt, pepper and onions in a large pot filled with water to cover. Simmer until the broth is flavourful; strain and use. You may also substitute chicken stock.

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