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A Cajun dish made as a stew containing vegetables and a single type of seafood served over a bed of rice. Although an étouffée is now made in a variety of different ways, the traditional ingredients consisted of crayfish combined with various vegetables, mixed with a light roux sauce made of flour and butter. Poultry and other meats are also commonly used to make current versions of this dish.
Étouffée is similar to a gumbo, except a gumbo, which is considered a soup and not a main dish like étouffée, uses several varieties of seafood mixed into a dark brown roux, typically made with fat instead of butter. When eaten, the étouffée has a richer flavor than a gumbo, which tends to have an earthier and an almost nutty flavor.
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