Gumbo is one of those keto Holy Grail recipes. Not because it's particularly hard to swap out for rice or to thicken. It's all because of the roux. There is no real way to make a roux on keto.
I know that's disappointing for some, and there are those who have tried to make one by browning almond flour or coconut flour in oil until it's dark. The problem, unfortunately, is that both of those are essentially ground nuts, and so while you might be able to cook them until they're brown, they're not going to thicken like a wheat flour. Almond flat-out isn't absorbent enough, and coconut may absorb moisture but it doesn't dissolve into a liquid the way wheat does. So, basically, either way you cut it, you're going to end up with gritty gumbo, and that's never made anyone happy.
I solved the grit problem by using two thickeners: the very traditional okra, and konjac powder. Now, konjac will thicken. I've even had a lot of luck browning it with my aromatic veggies and fats at the beginning of a recipe. But because it's not flour, its not going to turn into the golden (or chocolate) colored pasty stuff that is the mark of a true roux.
It is what it is, folks. I've learned to embrace the konjac for what it can do, and not sweat the stuff it can't.
I made this gumbo in a creole style, which basically means it's got tomatoes in it. Gator meat is plentiful here in sunny Florida, and is easily found in the same freezer case as the frozen fish and shrimp, but if you have a hard time locating some- or are skittish about trying it- feel free to swap it out for chicken. The sausage is a specialty item I ordered from Bradley's Country Store, located in Tallahassee, FL. They make, by far, the best sausage I've ever had. Locals actually consider it a bit of a Florida delicacy, but again if you would rather sub it out for a more traditional andouille, or for your favorite kielbasa style sausage, go right ahead!
- Serves: 12
- Serving size: 1/12 recipe
- Calories: 270.2
- Fat: 16.2
- Total Carbohydrate: 6.2 g
- Fiber: 1.86 g
- Protein: 25.5 g
- ¼ cup (2 fl oz) avocado oil
- 1 oz yellow onion, diced
- 1 oz green bell pepper, diced
- 1 oz celery, diced
- 2 tsp konjac/glucommanan powder
- 64 fl oz chicken broth or stock
- 168 g sliced okra
- 20 oz mild Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- ½ tbsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tbsp dried thyme
- ½ tbsp dried basil
- ½ tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 lb (16 oz) alligator meat
- 1 lb (16 oz) pork sausage, Bradley's hot sausage or similar, sliced on the bias
- ½ lb (8 oz) jumbo lump crab meat
- ½ lb (8 oz) shrimp, shelled, cleaned, and tail off
- In a large stockpot, heat the avocado oil over medium. Add the trinity vegetables (celery, bell pepper, and onion) and give them a good stir.
- Sprinkle the konjac/glucommanan powder over the cooking vegetables and continue to cook them, stirring constantly, until softened and beginning to brown. Add the sausage and continue cooking until the vegetables are golden and the sausage is beginning to brown.
- Add the broth/stock, okra, Rotel, all the seasonings, and gator meat to your pot and stir well.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, uncovered, for 2½ hours.
- About ten minutes before you're ready to serve, add the crab meat and shrimp to the pot and stir well to incorporate. It's ready to eat when the shrimp is bright pink and cooked through.