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  • 6 to 8
  • Easy
  • 15 minutes
  • 1 1⁄2 hours
  • Woolworths Neil Ellis Shiraz

I’ve always been fascinated by the New Orleans food scene and wanted to find out what makes gumbo so special that it’s Louisiana’s official state cuisine. As with most Creole dishes, it starts with the flavour trinity of celery, green pepper and onions. Gumbo recipes often call for a natural thickener, filé powder, which is made from dried sassafras leaves. It’s not available in South Africa so I’ve omitted it in this stovetop recipe.


  • 1⁄2 cup plus 4 T vegetable oil
  • 90 g flour
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 finely chopped celery sticks
  • 4 finely chopped garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T Woolworths Cajun seasoning
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 400 g Woolworths duck sausages
  • 600 g prawns, deveined
  • rice, for serving
  • 3–5 spring onions 3–5, sliced, for serving

Cooking Instructions

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan for 1–2 minutes over a medium- high heat. Whisk in the flour and reduce the heat to medium. Stir continuously.

2. Cook until the colour of peanut butter, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Keep cooking and stirring (you want the flour to cook, not burn!) until the roux is dark, about 20–30 minutes. Take your time, it’s an important part of what makes this soup so delicious. As the roux cooks, it will clump up and thicken, but as the flour browns past the peanut butter colour stage, it will loosen up a bit. Keep whisking!

3. Stir in the green pepper, onion and celery and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the Cajun seasoning.

4. In a separate saucepan, heat the stock and water until hot but not boiling. Using a soup ladle, add the stock and water to the roux mixture, whisking continuously. Bring to a simmer and add the Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. If the gumbo begins to split, whisk in a splash of cold water.

5. Heat a pan and add 4 T vegetable oil. Fry the sausages for 8–10 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. Fry the prawns for 6 minutes or until just cooked through, seasoning with salt and pepper.

6. Stir the sausages and prawns into the gumbo, reserving a few for serving. Serve with rice, garnished
with the spring onions.

Find more prawns and shellfish recipes here. 

Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food Assistant: Emma Nkunzana

Khanya Mzongwana Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana
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If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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