Recipe for Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Gumbo


1–2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound shrimp, shelled (reserve the meat for later)
1 large or 2 small Dungeness crabs, cooked and cleaned (but not peeled)
2 quarts chicken stock
3 bay leaves

Sauté the shrimp shells in oil until red and starting to brown. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add diced vegetables and sauté another 1–2 minutes, stirring, before adding stock. (At this point, you might want to substitute some clam juice for part of the chicken stock.) Toss in the bay leaves and bring to a boil, then reduce heat. While the stock is simmering, peel your crab, adding shells as you go. This will help to flavor your stock if you opt out of the clam juice. Save the claws and a couple of sections of unpeeled leg for later. Simmer the stock for an hour or two, then strain and set aside (see photo at left; photo above shows the ingredients strained out of the stock).

Heat 1/2 cup of oil over moderate heat and slowly whisk in 2/3 cup of flour. Stir regularly for 30 minutes. The roux should turn yellowish, then a golden brown. You may need to raise the heat to get the final deep brown. Scrape into a dish for later.


2–3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 pound okra, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
1 heaping teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 Tablespoon filé powder
shelled shrimp
peeled crab
hot links or other sausage
steamed rice

Sauté onion, celery and garlic in heavy pot until soft. Add the roux and cook over moderate heat until bubbling. Slowly stir in the stock and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or two. In a skillet, sauté the green pepper and okra in butter or oil and add spices. Deglaze with a splash of water or stock. Add to gumbo pot. At this point, I also add the reserved crab claws and sliced hot links, then let simmer another hour. Just before serving, add the shrimp and crab meat. Cook a couple of minutes and then ladle over rice with a sprinkling of chopped scallions. Serves 8.

Read more on how to search for spot shrimp.