Houma Gumbo


There are many ways to make gumbo with roux, without roux, with okra, without okra, with file’ and without file’. This gumbo’s basic base and flavor is created with file’ which are ground sassafras leaves. Houma is located in Terrebonne parish in Southern Louisiana. Sometimes given as Ouma (French) or Huma. The name translates literally as “red” and is apparently a shortened form of Saktci-homma, the name of the Chakchiuma meaning “red crawfish!”


  • 2 large onions
  • meat of your choice
  • Cajun or Creole seasonings of your choice
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons of file'


Step 1

In a large soup or gumbo pot, boil the onions until they are clear.

Step 2

Season the meat to taste with your choice of seasonings. If you do not have Cajun or Creole seasonings, you may season with salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, and onion powder.

Step 3

Add the meat to the pot. Over medium heat to high heat, cook the meat thoroughly.

Step 4

If using egg, when the gumbo is boiling, first by stirring the gumbo, create a whirlpool affect. Crack the egg(s)into the gumbo. The egg will swirl into the mixture and cook almost immediately. Or you may boil the eggs and add boiled eggs to the mixture.

Step 5

Next, add meat (shrimp is the author’s preference) and cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer until slightly pink. Then add the file'.

You will need to 'activate' the file's flavor. After adding the file' to the gumbo, scoop some of the broth with a ladle pouring it back into the pot like a waterfall; doing this same step a number of times. You will see the consistency of the broth change; once the consistency has changed, serve over rice.


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Ossun, Louisiana Louisiana
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