Gaido’s Gumbo


Makes 10 to 12 (8-ounce) servings

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2.5 cups chopped okra
  • 15 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3.5 ounces chicken base
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo filé
  • 1 (3-ounce) bag crab boil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 20 to 24 ounces boiled shrimp or shredded cooked chicken
  • 2.5 to 3 cups hot cooked rice

I can remember going to Gaido’s as a kid. The incredible Gaido’s tradition continues as this year marks the 100th year that Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant has been setting the standard for wonderful seafood. And what a treat this is! Gaido’s famous gumbo recipe is extremely hard to come by – and positively delicious! You can incorporate either shrimp or chicken. According to Casey Gaido, the secret to outstanding roux is to use clarified butter and not overcook your shrimp. Enjoy!


Heat the butter with the flour in a large stockpot over medium heat. Cook until the roux is the color of a dark penny, stirring constantly.

Sweat the onions in a large saucepan over medium-low heat to release their liquid. Cook until the liquid evaporates and the onions are caramelized.

Add the peppers and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the roux and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Add the okra and 10 cups of the water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the okra falls apart.

Add the tomato paste, pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and chicken base. Bring to a boil and slowly add the filé. Cook for 30 minutes.

Simmer the crab boil in the remaining 5 cups water for 5 minutes, discard the bag.

Add the 5 cups of crab boil water to the gumbo.

Add 2 ounces shrimp or chicken and 2 ounces rice to each serving.

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9 Responses to Gaido’s Gumbo

Cay Quoyeser says: September 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I have a receipe book “Southern Sideboards” that has a really easy way to make roux.
Brown dry flour in 350 Degree Oven (F) for 1 1/2-3 hours. Shake or stir often. Store in covered jar in refrigerator. It is ready to use; add oil according to recipe proportions.
I use it and it does great.

Lucy Rogers says: September 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Growing up it was considered the biggest
treat of all to go to Gaidos for dinner.
What impressed me most as a child is that
the waiters never had to write anything
down and yet delivered to the table
The other thing I enjoyed was the big shrimp
with the Colt 45 revolver on the roof which
was the exterior decor.

Vicki Witt says: September 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Gaido’s is my favorite place to eat in Texas. I am anxious to get back down to you. I want the cold and oysters. See you soon.

Terri says: September 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

You know you’re talking to a TRUE native Houstonian when they say one of their fondest memories as a child was eating at Gaido’s! And what a major disappointment on the days when we were told we wouldn’t be stopping at Gaido’s to eat! At 55 years old I still find it to be a hard thing to do! (Make the trip to Galveston without eating at Gaido’s.) I’ll never forget the relief when I saw on the news that the old restaurant was still there after Ike! May they remain a Houston/Galveston tradition for another 100 years!

Martha says: September 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Gaidos gumbo is ok, but Goode’s…well, I still am thinking about working in their kitchen just to find the recipe and ‘secrets’. It’s that good…if you could find out thier recipe, well I’ll work for you! :)M

    Tanji says: October 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Martha-
    I love Goode’s pulled pork sandwich but have not tried the gumbo! If you are successful in nabbing the recipe, let me know. 🙂 Tanji

Michele mcGeeney says: March 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm

My parents were good friends with Fritz Gaido and family. I remember going to Gaido’s and my daddy ordering Appetizers- Everything Cold and Everything Hot! It was a wonderful feast!
That was probably in about 1959. I will never forget it!


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