International Incident Gumbo Party – Spicy miso chicken and sausage gumbo

We are finally settling back home in Melbourne after travelling for 3 weeks. We travelled through San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto and then hit New York before our epic and dramatic journey back home. Planes and airports were our home for the next couple of days as we trekked back.

A faulty plane in New York resulted in a switch of plane and a delay of course. And then when we got back to Melbourne, we realised that our shopping baggage has gone walking. We did question about all our bags before we boarded our flight from San Francisco to Auckland. Three bags were loaded and one more was still missing at that time. And of course, we were assured that there was still time and more bags are still being loaded before the flight. Even when we were onboard, we were told all bags were travelling with us. A load of bullshit as no one had the time to go searching for a bag. The baggage people are paid too little in the US to bother about a bag right? So there goes all our hard work at shopping. Our bag is still lost in transition. No one has a clue where it is. There is no response from JFK and Auckland airport. They can’t be bothered. It is only a bag to them afterall. I am really disappointed. Hopefully, the bag is still around and it will fly back to us at some stage. But for now, I have started a list and ready to start processing the claim after 21 days from the arrival to port.

So dear friends, have you ever lost a bag or know of someone? Do share the story as a support for me.

I had big ideas for this month’s IIP but with the disappointing journey home and dealing with jet lag, this is my very humble contribution. I adapted the gumbo recipe from Jamie’s America, added Korean chilli powder and Japanese miso. Most of the salt has been replaced by miso and I guess this has made this dish healthier? What do you think?

I needed Mister to help with this dish. I did return home with an inflamed wrist tendonitis. It was from an old injury that never really recovered and further agitated with travelling. So now I have to rest it for the next 4 – 6 weeks. Many things that we have taken for granted like chopping vegetables is now an almost no no for me. And when we got back, we were also hit with another set of bad news. I rather keep this to myself for now as it is really personal and am trying to get through it myself. 3 bad hits this year. I really hope that things start picking up and looking brighter.

meat from local butcher

meat from local butcher

The cold and dark winter months have hit Melbourne and so I will start experimenting with night photography. The next 2 photos are taken by using a white light covered with white tissue to make it less harsh. I guess more work still needs to go into it. Many fellow bloggers have used a lightbox to diffuse the light more but I wanted to try something a little more flexible.

Photo 1 – Lighting is still quite harsh. It might be due to the distance between the light and object and also my poor lightroom skills

spicy miso gumbo

spicy miso gumbo

Photo 2 – It seems to be better with a different background and distribution of light. But still too harsh for my liking. Will work with angling of the light as well and the distance. And I love my gorrilla pod. It is so much more flexible than a heavy and stiff tripod.

More experiments will be posted. Hopefully, before the end of winter, I can achieve a satisfactory level of photos.

spicy miso gumbo

spicy miso gumbo

Before I carry on, I like to wish Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write a very happy birthday month! And thanks for allowing us into your home when we were in Toronto. Big hugs and kisses :)

Please note that I will keep updating the flickr album. So many photos were taken. It is going to take me awhile to finish all the posts on the trip as well.

Spicy miso chicken and sausage gumbo


  • 1.8kg whole chicken, taken apart
  • 2 pork sausages
  • 4 bacon rashers, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced and chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 500g sweet potatoes, skinned and chopped into small pieces
  • 1tbsp korean chilli powder
  • 3tbsp plain flour
  • 11/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1.2L home made chicken stock
  • parsley
  • 1tbsp salt
  • pepper for seasoning
  • Olive oil

Cooking Directions

  1. Separate the chicken into thighs, wings and breast. The chicken carcass will or can be used to make the chicken stock
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and Korean chilli powder. The level of chilli powder is up to you
  3. Heat up a large heavy pot and add some olive oil. Fry the chicken pieces, whole sausages and bacon until brown. Remove the brown meat, slice the sausages and set aside
  4. Turn down the heat to low, stir in the trinity of onions, peppers and celery. Cook them in low heat until soft. Then add the flour and start stirring for the next 20 to 30 minutes depending on how you want the roux to be. The longer time means a darker roux. Just make sure the heat is on low
  5. Once the roux has reached the colour you are satisfied with, add the garlic, sweet potato browned meats and combine them. Pour in the hot chicken stock, add the miso and bring everything to boil and then turn the heat down and allow it to simmer for at least 45mins or until chicken pulls apart easily. The sweet potato will actually break down and further thicken the gumbo
  6. You may choose to keep the chicken pieces whole, pull all or some apart before serving
  7. Taste and season with miso instead of salt. Chop up parsley and a touch of fresh chilli for more kick. Serve hot

Please click on the thumbnails below to see what the rest have brought to the party.