How to Thicken Gumbo Without Flour

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One of the staples of Cajun cooking is gumbo. Gumbo is made many different ways, but the common ingredients include the holy trinity -- bell peppers, celery, and onion -- as well as proteins like chicken, shrimp and pork sausage, spices, and stock. Most gumbos are thickened by making a roux, which is an equal amount of fat and flour cooked until it is a deep brown or darker, which is then added to the broth base of the gumbo. However, there are other ways to thicken gumbo, including cornstarch and okra.

Cornstarch-Thickening Method

Step 1

With about an hour to go, create a slurry to add to the gumbo. For every quart of gumbo, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of cool liquid, such as water or broth to a bowl.

Step 2

Mix well with a whisk. Add the cornstarch slurry to the gumbo.

Step 3

Mix the cornstarch slurry into the gumbo with a wooden spoon. Check the gumbo after 15 minutes to determine whether the gumbo has achieved the desired thickness; if not, add a small amount of slurry to the gumbo. Cook the gumbo for another hour.

Okra-Thickening Method

Step 1

Rinse 1 pound of whole okra under cool running water using a colander. Remove the top and tips from whole pieces of okra with a knife.

Step 2

Cut the okra crossways into 1/2-inch pieces. Reserve the cut okra in a bowl and set aside.

Step 3

Add the okra, about 1 pound for every 5 quarts of gumbo, with about an hour to go. Mix the okra well into the gumbo. Cook the gumbo for an hour before serving,

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