Gumbo Z’Herbes With Crab and Prawns

Gumbo Z’Herbes With Crab and Prawns

The chef Tanya Holland’s mother grew up in Shreveport, La., and made a version of gumbo that features lots of hearty greens, so Ms. Holland came up with this version for her newest cookbook, “Tanya Holland’s California Soul: Recipes From a Culinary Journey West” (Ten Speed Press, 2022). It’s a blend of her mother’s recipe and a bit of inspiration from the famous Creole chef Leah Chase. Here, the sauce is a vibrant green thanks to a purée of spinach and kale, giving it an earthy lightness and California flavor that perfectly complements fresh seafood. If you can’t find Dungeness crab, use blue crab or Jonah crab in its place.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a large soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium. Add the onion, shallots, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach, kale, stock, coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the greens to a blender or food processor; add 1 cup of the broth and blend until puréed.
  2. Step 2

    Return the purée to the pot and add the okra, potatoes, filé powder and thyme. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the seafood and continue cooking until the prawns are pink and the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Step 3

    To serve, spoon the rice into shallow bowls, and ladle the gumbo over the rice. Garnish with lemon wedges.