Vegan Mofo #20: Gumbo and Rice Waffles


Veganise an old family recipe

One of my favourite things that I remember my mum making was her gumbo. I loved seafood when I was a kid and this was a meal that I always looked forward to. We only really had this when we had guests round and I remember hoping everytime we had a visitor that it would be gumbo night. I had to veganise this! I decided to put the focus on the gumbo and make the waffle component a side dish to this because I was desperate to capture the textures and flavours of gumbo that I loved so much.

I don’t think my mum ever really makes this anymore so I didn’t have a recipe I could study. I got my inspiration online and cobbled a few ideas together. It probably isn’t an authentic gumbo, but who knows if the original I used to eat was anyway? All I know is that it’s damn tasty.

Gumbo and Rice Waffles

For the Gumbo

  • 1 packet of vegan ‘shrimp’
  • 1 packet of vegan ‘chicken’ chunks
  • 1 large vegan ‘chorizo’ or other kind of smoked sausage, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups chick’n stock
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • frozen spinach (optional, added for colour)
For the waffles
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • splash of vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  1. Firstly you want to get the gumbo cooking. Heat the oil in a large pan. When hot, add the flour and stir together to form a roux. Keep cooking and stirring until it goes a reddish brown colour.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and chopped peppers and cook through until soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the paprika and cook for a few more minutes
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and bay leaves. Then add the shrimp, chick’n and chorizo. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add the frozen spinach in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
    Season with salt before serving
  5. Preheat the waffle iron and mix together the soy milk and vinegar.
  6. In a separate bowl mix together the polenta, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the curdled soy milk and oil, mix until combined. Fold through the cooked rice.
  7. Use a 1/3 cup measurement to scoop the mixture into the waffle iron. Cook according to your machines instructions.
  8. Serve the gumbo alongside the waffles
Makes 6 waffles and a hell of a lot of gumbo
I don’t know if this gumbo is authentic but it was definitely like I remembered it! I loved the smokiness of the sausage and the paprika. I used chick’n chunks from the chinese supermarket which had a really nice ‘meaty’ texture. So good! The polenta rice waffles worked so well! They were crispy from the polenta and packed with rice. I didn’t expect it to work so well.
I’m definitely going to make this again and again
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