Shrimp and Eggplant Gumbo

I found a recipe for Budweiser Braised Shrimp in the Tallahassee Junior League’s most recent cookbook, A Thyme to Celebrate. I’ve been craving something like this, but wasn’t in the mood for this exact recipe, so I made up my own dish inspired by Budweiser Braised Shrimp recipe.

To make shrimp and eggplant gumbo, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1lb large white shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 14.5oz cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce (or a hot pepper sauce)
  • 12oz light beer (I used Bud Light Lime for this recipe, though I don’t usually drink this)
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp plus a pinch salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp file’ powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 servings rice, prepared

Prepare the vegetables by cutting the eggplant into 1/2 in cubes, mincing the garlic, dicing the onion, and chopping the peppers. I used an orange and a yellow pepper for color and because Jill doesn’t care for green bell peppers.

Chopped and diced vegetables
Chopped and diced vegetables

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the eggplant and cook for five minutes, stirring often to ensure that the eggplant cooks evenly.

Eggplant in cast iron enamel pot
Cooking the eggplant

Add the chopped peppers and continue cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes.

Diced peppers are added to the eggplant
Add the diced peppers

Add the stewed tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Turn the heat down to low and let the vegetables simmer while you prepare the shrimp.

The tomatoes are added to the eggplant and peppers
Adding the tomatoes

While the vegetables simmer, add a teaspoon of olive oil to a skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. The shrimp should turn pink.

Peeled and deveined shrimp in a skillet
Peeled and deveined shrimp

Add the quartered limes and the sriracha sauce to the shrimp. Cook for another minute.

Shrimp, limes, and hot sauce in a skillet
Add the limes and hot sauce to the shrimp

Add the light beer and simmer for five minutes.

Simmering the shrimp
Simmering the shrimp

When the shrimp are finished cooking, drain off any remaining liquid and discard the limes. Add the shrimp to the vegetables and mix gently. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the file’ powder to thicken the gumbo. Serve over rice.

Shrimp and eggplant gumbo plated
Shrimp and eggplant gumbo

While this is not the typical Louisiana-style gumbo that most people are familiar with, the shrimp, eggplant, and tomatoes complement each other well. The rice is especially good when it absorbs the juices from the gumbo.