50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil, plus
2 tablespoons extra
6 rashers bacon, finely chopped
21⁄2 tablespoons plain flour
2 onions, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded
16 okra, trimmed, halved lengthways
1 bay leaf
850g/13⁄4lb canned tomatoes
900g/2lb raw prawns, peeled and
deveined, but with tails left intact
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Heat the 50ml/2fl oz oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon and cook
over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring,
until the flour turns nutty brown. Remove from the pan. This mixture,
known as a roux, will be used to thicken and flavour the gumbo.
• Heat the extra 2 tablespoons oil in the saucepan, add the onion,
cayenne and peppers, and cook, stirring, over a medium heat for
5 minutes or until the onion is golden brown.
• Add the okra, bay leaf and tomatoes to the saucepan, and bring to the
boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. You may need to add
water if the mixture is too thick.
• Stir the prawns and the roux into the mixture, add the Tabasco and
season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until the prawns are
cooked. Serve hot.