Hey, hey, happy Monday! How was your weekend? It feels like ours was over in the blink of an eye, but I got some work done, made the CUTEST homemade Valentine’s Day cards for Lincoln’s class with a crafty friend (just carved a design into a styrofoam plate then painted over it and pressed a 5×7 piece of paper on top – adorbs) and spent Sunday at my parent’s house hanging out and watching the Super Bowl. I’m not ready to face the week quite yet but am SUPER PSYCHED to share the recipe for Gumbo Fried Rice with you today!
As you guys know, whenever I visit a new restaurant or city I love to recreate my favorite dishes back at home. There’s nothing like being able to relive a trip or experience through food, right? Anyway, I wasted zero time recreating the Gumbo Fried Rice I had at Brasa in Minneapolis last weekend because it was that good, and the timing is right because Mardi Gras is tomorrow!
Whether or not you make this southern-inspired dish to celebrate the colorful NOLA tradition, just make it because Gumbo Fried Rice is one of my most favorite restaurant recreations to date!
Homemade yellow rice (which is way better than a box mix loaded with salt and preservatives!) is stir fried with browned smoked sausage, chopped shrimp, the holy trinity of southern cooking – bell pepper, celery, and onion – and plenty of Creole seasoning, then served up hot with tons of green onions and hot sauce. If you love gumbo (hello favorite food ever,) you must, must make this fried rice that takes just 30 minutes to make vs traditional gumbo’s 2+ hour time commitment. Trust me, there’s a time and place for gumbo (like every single weekend in the fall and season that shall not be named,) and there’s a TIME and a PLACE for Gumbo Fried Rice (which is every day.) :)
Attending Mardi Gras made Ben’s and my bucket list after visiting New Orleans in 2010. Man, oh man, there is nothing like that city! Food, culture, history, great people, and FUN. I mean we got invited – and went – to a house party the second night we were there! #totalimmersion It’s a vibe and experience like none other, and I tell everyone who’ll listen to go and visit NOLA to see for themselves – I can’t even imagine how nuts it’d be during Mardi Gras. Unfortunately I have a dentist appointment tomorrow so I can’t sling beads on Bourbon Street, but you better believe I’ll be making this Gumbo Fried Rice to celebrate in my Iowa kitchen!
Start the Gumbo Fried Rice by making a batch of yellow rice. What gives the rice its florescent yellow color? Turmeric! Turmeric can be found at the regular grocery store and is commonly used in southeast Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Give it a smell and I bet you’ll be reminded of the last dish you ate of that kind.
Saute 2 Tablespoons minced onion, 3/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until the onions begin to soften. Next add 1 cup long grain white rice and 1-1/2 cups chicken broth. Place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat then let it with the lid on for 10 minutes before fluffing. You can make the yellow rice a day ahead of time to save time too.
Next heat 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat then add 7oz chopped kielbasa or andouille sausage and saute until browned. Andouille sausage is traditionally used in gumbo but if you’re sensitive to spice, or serving this dish to kids, I’d stick with mild smoked kielbasa sausage. Johnsonville makes great, gluten-free versions of both.
Remove the sausage to a plate then add 6oz chopped shrimp to the skillet with another Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Season the shrimp with Creole seasoning then saute until cooked through, 2-3 minutes, and then add to the plate with the sausage.
You can use whatever Creole seasoning you like – I like Emeril’s Essence which is made up of spice cupboard staples!
Next add 1 green bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, and 1/2 onion all chopped small, along with the white parts of 3 chopped green onions (save the green parts for garnish at the end.) Add more Creole seasoning then saute until the vegetables are tender, 7-9 minutes.
Last step is to push the vegetables to the sides of the wok then pour 2 eggs whisked with salt and pepper into the center, and then scramble until cooked.
Add the cooked sausage, shrimp, and rice into the wok with more Creole seasoning then toss to combine. If you made the rice ahead of time and it’s cold from the fridge, add a glug of chicken broth to the wok to plump it back up.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, then scoop into bowls and top with plenty of green onions and hot sauce!
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Gumbo Fried Rice
Gumbo Fried Rice gives you those signature southern flavors in way less time than it takes to boil a pot of gumbo!
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 7oz kielbasa or andouille sausage, chopped (I like Johnsonville)
- 6oz shrimp, chopped
- Creole seasoning (I like Emeril’s Essence, link in notes)
- 1/2 onion, chopped small
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped small
- 2 stalks celery, chopped small
- 3 green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup chicken broth (optional)
- For the Yellow Rice:
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons minced onion
- 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
- For the Yellow Rice: heat extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, ground turmeric, garlic powder, salt, and pepper then saute until onions start to become tender, 2-3 minutes. Add rice then stir to coat. Add chicken broth then turn heat up to bring to a boil. Place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat then let sit for 10 more minutes with the lid on. Remove lid then set aside - can be done a day ahead of time.
- Whisk eggs with salt and pepper in a small dish then set aside. Heat 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat then add sausage and saute until browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate then set aside. Heat another Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in the wok then add shrimp, season with Creole seasoning, and then saute until pink and cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp to plate with sausage. Add remaining Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to wok then add bell pepper, celery, onion, and the white parts of green onions. Season with Creole seasoning then saute until vegetables are tender, 7-9 minutes.
- Push vegetables to the side of the wok then add seasoned eggs into the center and scramble. Add sausage, shrimp, cooked rice, and more Creole seasoning to the wok then toss to combine. If rice was made ahead of time, add chicken broth to help moisten it back up. Taste then add more Creole seasoning and/or salt if needed, then serve topped with green parts of green onions and hot sauce.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
As we know I am a spice WIMP but Brasa served their Gumbo Fried Rice bowls with a tangy, bright-orange hot sauce that was flirting with being too spicy, but overall really enhanced the dish. I asked our waiter what it was and he described it as a mild habanero hot sauce. Oxymoron, much? ;) Regardless, I searched the web and found this great recipe from Rick Bayless which I made then drizzled over my bowl, and it was fantastic!
Just an FYI – the recipe calls for 12 habanero peppers but I used four and it was still almost too spicy for me, so adjust according to your tastes.
However you serve it up – enjoy this DELICIOUS, southern-inspired dish!