Friday, December 26, 2014

Senegalese Seafood Gumbo

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Time flies and so has the journey to Dakar in Senegal, but here is one more dish to celebrate the Senegalese cuisine and the 4th stop on our tour of ABC-Mondiale-an untraditional seafood gumbo created by Sean Brock. Untraditional to me as in my seafood gumbos, I would have never thought to include dried shrimp, smoked oysters or fish sauce in the mix, or not use a roux to thicken.  What is traditional to me in this gumbo is shrimp, crabmeat and red snapper, along with fresh okra, essential ingredients in any gumbo.
Red Snapper
Selecting Okra
Kiawah Island 2010

Senegalese Seafood Gumbo

Two 1 pound red snappers, cleaned filleted, skinned and coarsely chopped, heads and bones reserved
4 cups chicken broth
1 onion
3/4 fresh okra, thinly sliced and smashed
Two 3-ounce cans smoked oysters
10 small dried shrimp (I omitted the dried shrimp as I couldn't find it)
6 garlic cloves
3 dried cayenne chiles
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
18 large shrimp, heads on, if desired
1/2 palm oil (Dende oil comes from the fruit of the African oil palm-annato oil can be substituted) Omit if desired. See Note
1/2 pound lump crabmeat
Kosher salt
Cooked Rice for serving.

In a large pot, combine the fish heads and bones with the stock and 4 cups of water, (Brock uses 8 cups). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming off any foam. Strain broth into a large bowl.

Wipe out the pot and return the broth to it. Add the okra, oysters, dried shrimp (if using), garlic, chiles and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook on moderately low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the snapper filets, shrimp, and palm oil (if using). Simmer until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in the crabmeat and cook for 1 minute, until heated through. Season with salt. Serve with rice.

Note-The dende oil can be purchased from speciality food stores and from Amazon. The oil gives the gumbo a red color and a rich flavor.

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