Filé Gumbo

  • Yield: 10-12 servings
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins

Gumbo filé powder is the dried and ground leaves of sassafras used as an herb and thickener in some Creole and Cajun recipes. It has a faint but distinctive flavor.


3/4cup vegetable oil
3/4cup all-purpose flour
1/2teaspoon dried thyme
1/2teaspoon dried basil
1tablespoon salt
1-- bay leaf, crushed
3/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2cup diced celery
1/2cup diced bell pepper
1/2cup diced white onion
4-- garlic cloves, minced
1quart reduced-sodium chicken broth
1quart clam juice
1 1/2pounds small or medium shrimp, peeled, shells reserved
1-- (14-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
2cups fresh shelled oysters, drained
1pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
1pound frozen crawfish tail meat
8cups cooked white rice
4-- green onions, chopped
-- Filé powder


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour; cook until smooth and darkened (about the color of a penny). Add thyme and next 9 ingredients (thyme through garlic). Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and cool about 30 minutes.
  2. Bring chicken broth, clam juice and reserved shrimp shells to a boil in a large pot. Cook 10 minutes. Remove shrimp shells, and reserve stock.
  3. Add vegetable mixture to stock and blend well. Add tomatoes, oysters, crab, crawfish and shrimp. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice; sprinkle with green onions. Pass filé powder at the table for sprinkling on each serving. Serves 16.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 340
  • Glycemic Load 0
  • Fat 13g
  • Saturated Fat 1g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 2.5g
  • Cholesterol 125mg
  • Sodium 780mg
  • Potassium 440mg
  • Carbohydrate 32g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 23g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 8%
  • Vitamin C 20%
  • Calcium 10%
  • Iron 25%