Gumbo. Is File powder worth it?

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JustJoel

Executive Chef
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
3,665
Location
Las Vegas
Not sure why you chose cornstarch. Gumbo is traditionally thickened with a roux. Filé can be cooked into the gumbo or served at the table for a final seasoning.
A roux loses its thickening ability the darker it gets.

I’ve never used file, the okra thickens the soup quite well. I’ve read that using both okra and file is a no-no. Don’t know how true that is.
 

afterburn25

Assistant Cook
Joined
Dec 8, 2013
Messages
32
Location
Lafayette, LA
you can use file' with okra all file' is, is sasafras leaves ground into a powder. and yes the darker the roux the less thickening powder it has but the more richness the flavor is. I tend to like more of a blonde roux kinda in between no darker then that of chocolate milk. also the darker you go the more chance you will burn it.
 

CraigC

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
6,483
For chicken and andouille gumbo, I take the roux to a dark red-brown. As soon as the vege goes in, it gets darker. Once the stock goes in the gumbo, it takes on a nice brown gravy color. Every gumbo I've made has the consistency of soup. Now etouffee is meant to be thick and I use a peanut butter colored roux. Although I've never had it, I think turtle soup in Cajun country is meant to be on the thicker side.
 
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