Gumbo is a soup or stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It almost always includes the “holy trinity” of vegetables (bell pepper, onion, and celery) and almost always includes some meat or shellfish and a thickener. The question is can you freeze gumbo?
Yes, you can freeze gumbo safely for up to 6 months using freezer-safe containers. To reheat the gumbo, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Then, place your gumbo in a saucepan or stockpot and cook it over medium-low heat until it’s warmed all the way through.
Sometimes freezing helps balance the flavors. To do so, make sure your gumbo has cooled, then store it in airtight freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Gumbo will keep for up to three months or more in your freezer.
Gumbo is a heavily-seasoned soup or stew that combines meat or shellfish with vegetables. Traditional gumbo is often very thick and contains okra, a vegetable that acts as a thickener and adds a distinctive flavour.
How thick should gumbo be?
The thickness level of gumbo depends on what you like. Gumbo is ready when the flavors are thoroughly blended and the oil has settled to the top.
The thickness of gumbo is a personal preference, but it should be pourable when hot and will thicken as it cools.
To test the consistency, drop a small amount on a plate and cool for a few minutes. If you find that the gumbo has cooled too much, stir in some additional stock to thin it out again.
How to reheat gumbo?
You can reheat gumbo in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring regularly until it reaches a temperature of 165°F. Alternatively, you can reheat in foil-covered individual containers of gumbo in a 350° oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Also, gumbo reheats well in the microwave, although the roux will lose some of its thickening power. Or, you can put the gumbo in a saucepan on the stove and reheat it over low heat, stirring often.
Tip: To avoid drying out your gumbo and leave it flavorful as ever, add a dash of water. After all, leftover gumbo is about expected to be every bit as delicious as when you first made it.
How long is seafood gumbo good in the refrigerator?
Seafood gumbo lasts in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. To maximize the shelf life of seafood gumbo, do not store it in a container that is not fully sealed.
How to tell if seafood gumbo is terrible?
The best way is to smell and look at the seafood gumbo. Discard any seafood gumbo that has an off smell or appearance; discard the seafood gumbo if mold appears.
Also, you can safely keep seafood gumbo for about 3–4 days in the fridge. Store gumbo in a covered container, or cover it with plastic wrap to help minimize any odours.
You should always reheat seafood gumbo to 165 °F before eating it again, even if you put it back in the fridge immediately after eating a portion.
Is gumbo terrible for you?
The gumbo has a high content of protein and nutrition, but if you’re concerned about your health, then you may think twice before eating gumbo.
Of truth, gumbo is neither bad nor good for you. However, gumbo can be a great meal to enjoy during cold weather in moderation.
Also, you can make gumbo to be healthy or very unhealthy depending on the ingredients and the cooking style you use. Most gumbos have a broth base high in sodium, so eat in moderation if you have a history of heart problems.
Seafood gumbo recipe
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 cups chopped okra
- 1½ cups beer, such as Abita Amber
- 6 cups seafood stock
- 2 tablespoons filé powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound red snapper fillets, chopped
- 2 (8-ounce) containers shucked oysters
- 1½ cups chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 (8-ounce) container jumbo lump crabmeat, picked free of shells
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Hot cooked rice
- Garnish: chopped green onion
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 (8-ounce) container crab claw meat, picked free of shells
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
Method of cooking
- Heat the oil in an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add the flour and mix to produce a roux. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, or until the roux is the color of peanut butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and okra. Cook for 5 minutes with frequent stirring. Combine the beer, stock, filé, bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, crab claw meat, Worcestershire, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and cook for 1 hour.
- Toss in the shrimp, fish, oysters, and lump crabmeat. Cook for 8–10 minutes, or until seafood is well cooked; stir in parsley.
- Serve with rice
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Can I freeze gumbo with rice?
Yes, you can freeze gumbo with rice. Gumbo freezes well and reheats well with very little change in quality. However, you should do the best by freezing separately.
Gumbo freezes well, and you can freeze this delicious soup for up to 3 months. It is best to freeze gumbo without rice, but if you have leftover cooked rice, you can add it to the gumbo later when defrosted.
How do you reheat frozen gumbo?
You can reheat your freezer gumbo in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Or thaw completely in a refrigerator and heat on low in a covered pot for about 15 minutes.
The easiest way to reheat gumbo is to thaw it in the refrigerator the day before you want to serve it. When ready to serve, transfer the gumbo to a large pot and heat on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
Your gumbo is best if you bring it to a simmer on the stove rather than heating it all the way through in the microwave, as this keeps your roux and sausage soft and juicy. The trick is not to let your gumbo get too hot while cooking, or it will start to separate and become oily.
Can you freeze gumbo with crab?
You can freeze gumbo with crab. You need to be careful about storing it appropriately. Place the gumbo in a freezer bag or airtight container that’s freezer-friendly. Gumbo can typically be stored in the freezer for around four months.
If using fresh crab, clean it, remove the shell and place the meat in a freezer container. Defrost thoroughly before using.
If using canned crab, leave it in the can; make sure to label the can if you’re freezing for more than two weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. You can also freeze leftover cooked gumbo with crab for up to a month.
How do you store leftover gumbo?
Store gumbo in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To freeze, put the remaining gumbo in a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Lay flat in your freezer, and it’ll be suitable for up to 2 months.
Can you freeze gumbo with seafood?
You can freeze gumbo with seafood, as long as you use a heavy plastic container with a lid seal properly. The best idea is a glad ware-style dish or a hefty Ziploc bag.
However, freezing will cause the seafood to release water and break up, affecting the consistency. Other food items like oysters, shrimp, and crab meat will become tough and lose their flavor due to freezing. You may also find that rice loses its texture when defrosting after being frozen.
How do you tell if your gumbo is spoiled?
The best way to tell if your gumbo is spoiled is to use your sense organ. Look and smell it, taste a small amount, if you safely can, and touch it by feeling the texture.
Also, It’s easy to tell if your gumbo is spoiled. When you notice any discoloration in the contents, such as brown or black flakes, it is time to throw away your gumbo.
The best way to determine whether a gumbo is wrong is by the signs of food spoilage. If your gumbo has an unpleasant smell, unnatural color, unusual texture or feel, or mold spots on it, this means that you should throw it out.
Why is my gumbo slimy?
The only way your gumbo gets too slimy is if you used okra, forgot to stir your roux continuously, or added too much fat.
Okro is the reason your gumbo is slimy. This lovely ingredient helps thicken the gumbo soup and make it “slimy,” as you put it.
The longer the gumbo stays on the stove, the more slime appears. Some people prefer this consistency while others do not. If you don’t want your gumbo slimy, be sure not to overcook and avoid using okro.
Why does my gumbo taste bitter?
If your gumbo tastes bitter, too much pre-seared browned roux might be the culprit. Roux is cooked flour and oil or butter (sometimes a combination) that acts as a thickening agent for your gravy, sauce, or stew. It can turn bitter if it cooks too long, which carries through to the final result.
Also, the most common reason that gumbo gets bitter is overcooked okra. It is important not to add the okra until the pot is almost done cooking/simmering on the stove.
Try simmering 5-10 minutes before adding the okra, and then add and cook only about a minute more after adding the okra.
What’s the best oil to use for gumbo?
There is no single “best” oil for gumbo, just as there are no two gumbos ever cooked alike. Some recipes call for peanut oil, some vegetable, or canola, but most cooks prefer regular old cooking oil. My preference is canola for its lack of smell and taste.
Why is gumbo called gumbo?
Gumbo has its origins in the days of the French colonization of Louisiana when “gombo” was the Bantu word for okra, an essential ingredient in the Creole version of gumbo (contrary to popular belief, okra is seldom used in Cajun cuisine).
When enslaved Africans were brought to New Orleans, they introduced okra to their Creole cooks, forming a stew.
The name gumbo became adopted for this dish and eventually described any soup or stew made with juicy vegetables.
Many mistakenly believe that gumbo comes from okra, a vegetable commonly used in the dish. This is not true.
While there are dozens of theories about where gumbo originates from, the meaning of the word, and the thing or person it was named after, no one knows for sure.
What does gumbo taste like?
Gumbo is a rich and spicy-sweet soup or stew that is part of the Creole and Cajun cuisine in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It generally included a variety of meats and shellfish, along with a thickener like okra, filé powder (ground sassafras leaves), or rice.
Is gumbo good for pregnancy?
Nothing is better than a big bowl of gumbo. Don’t sacrifice the taste of this delicious Cajun entree while you’re pregnant. Most people associate gumbo with seafood, which is not ideal for pregnant women.
However, seafood is only one possible ingredient in gumbo, so you can still enjoy this healthy dish while you’re expecting. Keep in mind that there are some ingredients to avoid if you’re looking to make gumbo during pregnancy.
Can gumbo make you sick?
Yes, gumbo can make you sick if it is not stored correctly. Gumbo needs to be kept refrigerated, and if it is not, it can begin growing bacteria that can quickly turn into food poisoning.
If gumbo is left sitting out for more than two hours, it can make you sick. Throw away gumbo if it’s been sitting out longer than that.
What goes with gumbo?
Gumbo can be served with rice as a main dish, or almost like a soup before the entree. The roux and the gumbo itself can be made in advance of serving, so it’s perfect for a big dinner party. Gumbo can be served as is, but if you’re looking to go the extra mile, you can eat it with anything.
Like many foods, gumbo can be frozen for later use. There are two ways to freeze gumbo in the pot or zip-lock bags. In either case, make sure to bring your gumbo to room temperature before proceeding.
You can freeze gumbo. Freeze gumbo in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to maintain top quality. If kept at 0°F, Gumbo will be safe indefinitely, as long as it has been stored correctly and the package is not damaged.