Acadia’s Seafood Gumbo Recipe

by Nancy Zaffaro
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seafood gumbo

A great-tasting and authentic seafood gumbo begins with its roux. The first five ingredients of Chef Seamus Foran’s roux says it all: a hefty portion of animal fat and flour, followed by the “Holy Trinity” of Louisiana’s cuisine; onion, green bell peppers and celery.

Chef Seamus’ recipe confirms what I knew from my first spoonful of his gumbo—he may hail from Portland, Oregon, but he runs his Cajun/Creole bistro, Acadia, like a native of the Big Easy.

On a recent trip with friends, we started the evening with New Orleans’ cocktail mainstays and modern variations, as well as selections from an extensive bourbon and rye menu.

All the classic dishes are on the menu: BBQ shrimp, house-made charcuterie; including andouille and boudin sausage, jambalaya, smoked duck, blue crab, crawfish, pork chops, éttoufée, (perfect) hushpuppies, red beans and rice, and more. Don’t miss the bread pudding.

If you’re unable to visit this popular Portland restaurant, Chef Seamus has shared his recipe for his “go-to” gumbo. Put on some jazz, invite friends over, and have fun.

Laissez les bon temps rouler! Byen mersi, Chef Seamus!

Recipe courtesy of Chef/Owner Seamus Foran, of Acadia: A New Orleans Bistro in Portland, Oregon.

Acadia’s Roux


  • 1 cup animal fat
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups flour
  • 4 cups diced yellow onion
  • 3 cups diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup diced tomato (canned will work)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

To Prepare:

  1. Heat the animal fat in a large cast iron pan.
  2. Sift flour into fat, and mix with a whisk.
  3. Turn to medium heat and continue whisking. Add more flour if needed (consistency should resemble wet sand)
  4. Cook the flour until it reaches a dark brown (similar to dark chocolate).
  5. Turn off heat. Add remaining ingredients, and mix until incorporated.
  6. Set Roux aside.

Acadia’s Seafood Gumbo


  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 8 cups shrimp or shellfish stock
  • 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 pound crawfish tailmeat
  • 1 pound okra (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt to taste
  • Tabasco to taste
  • L&P Worcestershire to taste
  • Pinch of filé powder (ground sassafras leaves) to finish
  • Green onion for garnish

To Prepare:

  1. Combine stocks in a large stock pot. Bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and add a heaping spoonful of the roux.
  3. Bring the gumbo up to a gentle boil to break up the roux. Gumbo will start to thicken as the roux incorporates into the stock.
  4. Continue to cook until the flour taste has dissipated. Add more of the roux until Gumbo thickens.
  5. Once the Gumbo has reached desired thickness, season with salt, Tabasco, and L&P.
  6. Add seafood and okra.
  7. Cook until shrimps have started to gain a slight pink color.
  8. Taste again and adjust for seasoning.
  9. Serve hot with steamed white rice, green onions and a pinch of file powder.
Chef Seamus Foran

Seamus Foran, Chef and Owner of Portland’s Acadia restaurant.

– Photos courtesy Acadia.

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