Crab Gumbo

Gombo aux Crabes

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

The Picayune's Creole Cook Book

By The Times Picayune Publishing Company

Published 1901

  • About


  • A Dozen Hard-Shell or Soft-Shell Crabs
  • An Onion
  • 6 Large Fresh Tomatoes
  • 2 Pints of Okra, or Fifty Counted
  • ½ Pod of Red Pepper, Without the Seeds
  • A Bay Leaf
  • A Sprig Each of Thyme and Parsley
  • A Tablespoonful of Lard, or 2 Level Spoonfuls of Butter
  • Salt and Cayenne to Taste
  • Quarts of Boiling Water, or Seafood Stock


This is a great fast-day or maigre dish with the Creoles. Hard- or Soft-Shell Crabs may be used, though more frequently the former, as they are always procurable, and far cheaper than the latter article, which is considered a luxury. Crabs are always sold alive. Scald the Hard-Shell Crabs and clean according to recipe already given, taking off the “dead man’s fingers” and the spongy substances, and being careful to see that the sandbags on the under part are removed. Then cut off the claws, crack and cut the body of the Crab in quarters. Season nicely with salt and pepper. Put the lard into the pot, and when hot throw in the bodies and claws. Cover closely and, after five or ten minutes, add the skinned tomatoes, chopped onions, thyme and parsley, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. After five minutes add the okra, sliced fine, and when well browned, without the semblance of scorching, add the bay leaf, chopped fine, and the juice of the tomatoes. Pour over two quarts and a half of boiling water, and set back on the stove, and let it simmer well for about an hour, having thrown in the pepper pod. When nearly ready to serve, season according to taste with Cayenne and added salt; pour into a tureen and serve with Boiled Rice. This quantity will allow two Soft-Shell Crabs or two bodies of Hard-Shell Crabs to each person.