alive logo

Jackfruit and Okra Gumbo

Serves 4 to 6 / Ready in 25 minutes


    Gumbo is Southern comfort food that’s packed with flavor. Many vegan versions have beans, but the jackfruit in this version gives it a nice hearty texture that absorbs the strong flavors from the spices. Shiitake mushrooms give it the umami flavor. Serve with corn bread or whole-wheat crackers.


    recipe | Darshana Thacker


    Jackfruit and Okra Gumbo


      • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
      • 2 - 15 oz cans water-packed jackfruit, drained, rinsed, and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
      • 2 Tbsp Creole spice mix
      • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
      • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
      • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
      • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
      • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cut into long strips
      • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
      • 2 tsp gumbo filé
      • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
      • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
      • 2 bay leaves
      • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
      • 10 oz frozen sliced okra, thawed
      • 1 cup cooked brown rice
      • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
      • Hot sauce (optional)
      • Pinch of sea salt
      • Pinch of ground black pepper


      Per serving:

      • calories265
      • protein6g
      • fat1g
      • carbs61g
        • sugar6g
        • fiber7g
      • sodium598mg



      1. Roast flour in dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, until flour turns light brown and gives out a toasty aroma. Set aside.
      2. In mixing bowl, combine jackfruit, Creole spice mix, and paprika. Mix well to coat jackfruit evenly with seasoning. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
      3. In large soup pot, combine onions, bell pepper, celery, mushrooms, garlic, filé, thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp broth to keep vegetables from sticking to pot.
      4. Remove bay leaves from pot and discard. In bowl, mix roasted flour with remaining broth, using whisk to blend and break up any clumps if formed.
      5. Stir broth mixture into pot. Add marinated jackfruit, okra, rice, and parsley. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until flavors merge and stew thickens.
      6. Add hot sauce, if using, and salt and black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning.
      7. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.


      SEE MORE »
      Warming Winter Chocolate Bark

      Warming Winter Chocolate Bark

      A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.