Photography by Graham Turner for The Guardian.

Photography by Graham Turner for The Guardian.

Etoufee is traditionally made with shrimp, but I’m more likely to have a bag of prawns in my freezer, so this is my version. The trick to a good etoufee is not to rush the sauce, which should be the consistency of a good gravy – not too thick, not too thin. Be generous with the salt and pepper, too.

Serves 4:
4 fat cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced finely
2 tbsp oil
200g frozen peppers, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced, or a pinch of the dried stuff
2 rounded tbsp flour
1 level tbsp paprika
500ml chicken stock
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
400g chopped tomatoes
300g prawns
Fistful of parsley
Salt and black pepper

Saute the garlic and onion in the oil on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the peppers and chilli and cook low and slow until it all start to soften.

Add the flour and paprika, and stir quickly to make a rough paste. Add a little splash of stock to loosen, and beat to smooth out any lumps. Repeat, adding enough stock to thin to a gravy consistency. The sauce will thicken as it heats, so don’t worry if you have a lot of stock left – you can add it later.

Stir in the mixed herbs, then add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, then leave for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the prawns and heat through.

Remove from the heat, add the parsley and generously season. Serve with rice.

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook:

Published in G2 magazine for the Guardian, May 2014. Photography by Graham Turner for The Guardian.


  1. The Guardian photographer threw in the lemons for effect…how much does that change the cost per serving, and/or the taste.

  2. I have been obsessed with Cajun and Creole food and culture for a couple of decades now, going as far as to have a watercolour graphic of the different shades of roux next to my stove . Very happy to see you branching out into this often very economical cuisine very much founded upon what you could trap,forage, grow and buy seasonally.

    I tend to make my roux separately to the rest of the process which gives excellent control over the degree of browning you require.

    I cook the ‘trinity’ mirepoix separately too – onions ,bell peppers and celery. If I don’t have one of these in my fridge then they substitute well.

    I am going to try your version Jack – thank you 🙂

  3. Mmmm this looks really tasty, love anything with prawns. Thanks Jack you are a star! x

  4. Hi, what are “dried mixed herbs”? Thanks for clarifying – you clearly don’t want to use a provencal mix as that would make it taste, well, as if it came from Provence! 🙂

  5. Hi Jack, that sounds lovely. Can you think of a spice I could use instead of paprika as my little girl is allergic to paprika and oregano and she would love this. Thanks in advance (and I loved your foodtube video).

  6. Is this made using fresh or canned tomatoes? Roughly how much does a fresh pepper weigh, I don’t like the texture of frozen ones.

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