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gluten free roux for gumbo?

JKan Oct 23, 2010 01:18 PM

I found a previous post with several people suggesting the use of white rice flour instead of wheat flour if you need to make a gluten-free roux. I am having guests over for gumbo and will try with the rice flour because one of them is on a gluten-free diet, but I must say I am skeptical. I can see it working in some recipes but in gumbo the flavor of the roux is so critical to the overall flavor of the gumbo - have people successfully made gumbo with white rice flour or another alternative to wheat flour for the roux? I may make the rice flour roux a few days in advance to test it out first, then freeze it if it seems right, else make something else entirely.



  1. wolfe Oct 23, 2010 01:48 PM

    Here are some encouraging links.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe
      todao Jun 8, 2011 06:35 PM

      Ooops, wrong place .....

      1. re: wolfe
        Chelie1007 Dec 8, 2013 06:36 AM

        thank you for listing this

        1. re: wolfe
          curlyag Mar 4, 2014 06:22 PM

          thank you for the links...very helpful!

        2. goodhealthgourmet Oct 23, 2010 02:23 PM

          the key is to use sweet rice flour (a.k.a mochiko or mochi flour). the flavor is milder than regular rice flour, and the lighter texture is more comparable to AP flour.

          1. d
            doodlebug2223 Jun 8, 2011 06:12 PM

            Tried Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour, ratio 1:1 with canola oil for the roux. Thanks to Gabe Cross, glad I ran across your blog on gumbo! It was delicious!! Don't let the "roux" fool you, though.....it doesn't bind up during the browning process like a wheat-flour roux will, but it thickens beautifully after you add your chicken stock and bring it to a boil.

            2 Replies
            1. re: doodlebug2223
              Chelie1007 Dec 8, 2013 06:36 AM

              my daughter was just diagnosed with celiac disease. Thank you for sharing this information. Not only do we enjoy gumbo, it is our Christmas family meal with my parents, siblings and their families. So pleased thatwe can continue to enjoy our rich Cajun food heritage with this option.

              1. re: Chelie1007
                nami54 Dec 8, 2013 09:43 AM

                I made GF roux for gravy for Thanksgiving, I tried two versions ahead of time. I also used Bob's Red Mill GF flour. I found that using the red mill flour alone tended to look kind of grainy and thinned out after I put the gravy in the fridge overnight. When I switched to a 2:1 ratio of GF flour and cornstarch, no graininess, and the roux kept it's thickening aven after refrigerating and reheating.

            2. todao Jun 8, 2011 06:36 PM

              You can prepare a roux using cornstarch. For additional richness, just temper and add an egg yolk.

              4 Replies
              1. re: todao
                Zeldog Jun 8, 2011 08:00 PM

                Rice flour? Corn starch? Eggs? Rather than go on a Jim Mora style rant (Corn starch? Don't talk about corn starch!) I (calmly) suggest making okra gumbo which actually is a traditional recipe in Louisiana. Plenty of good recipes out there, including this one:


                But really, egg yolk?

                1. re: Zeldog
                  goodhealthgourmet Jun 8, 2011 08:24 PM

                  what if the person making the gumbo doesn't have access to okra? and yes, i know that some purists will say it ain't gumbo without okra...

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    Zeldog Jun 9, 2011 06:41 PM

                    It doesn't need to be fresh okra. Frozen is pretty easy to find, at least out here on the west coast. If someone says it ain't gumbo without okra it's probably because they just like okra in their gumbo. I guess I'm not a purist, because for me gumbo (with no modifier) means thickened with roux, okra gumbo means thickened with okra (note the Emeril recipe I linked to above uses this term), and file gumbo means thickened with file powder (usually with a bit of roux as well since file powder is not a particularly good thickener).

                    Doodlebug might have the best solution -- Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour looks like it's worth a try. I checked the ingredients and it contains potato starch, which I've used a few times and it thickens without feeling as slimy as corn starch. Other ingredients include garbanzo, sorghum and fava flours, which should give the roux some flavor and additional body.

                    1. re: Zeldog
                      happygoluckyinoregon Jan 5, 2013 09:51 AM

                      I am from Louisiana. GUMBO is the African word for OKRA, brought over by the slaves. But, the word has come to mean any type of stewed meals i Louisiana, such as gumbo file which is a roux based stew w/ file powder added and no okra. Just FYI

              2. AmyH Jun 9, 2011 08:32 AM

                It might be better to forget about the roux completely and just add file powder at the end for thickening and flavor.

                1. paulj Jun 9, 2011 07:52 PM

                  Would it help to separate the two functions of the roux - flavoring and thickening? Lots of starches can be used for thickening, but I'm not sure all of them would develop the right flavor when toasted or cooked with fat.

                  I wonder, for example, if a puree of well caramelized onions would work for the flavor component.

                  1. h
                    hootstwo Apr 30, 2012 08:24 AM

                    I realize this is long past your original request, but in my experience, you can use millet flour to make the absolute best gluten free roux. I've tried probably a dozen different gluten free flours and various combinations, and nothing comes close to millet flour.

                    The thickening ability is virtually identical to wheat and no weird flavours are imparted. Millet's not the easiest flour to find, but when you do, it's all you'll use for roux.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hootstwo
                      cooks47 Mar 2, 2014 08:24 PM

                      Yes, millet is definetly the closest flavor profile to wheat. I always add 50% millet to recipes that call for white or brown rice flour, because then they really taste like wheat flour products.

                    2. c
                      curlyag Mar 4, 2014 06:35 PM

                      I know this is an old link, but the challenge of gf goes on and on! I tried a "lower fat" technique listed in a comment on Emeril's chicken and andouille gumbo recipe--"browning" the flour in the oven on 400. I used Angel's gf flour blend (I found it at Whole Foods in Austin). Had to add more chicken stock, as it was gummy. I think I will just use oil next time, and really make a roux, using millet, as others have suggested.

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