The lack of okra changes the flavor. It also changes the mouth feel a little. Not so much a loss, just different. Okra has a very distinct flavor and aroma, you can tell instantly it is not in there. It also makes the liquid smoother on the palate, not altogether bad. A person from an area where okra is traditional, might insist that this is a stew.
This gumbo lacks the strong bitter top note that is a part of both okra and green bell pepper. If you like that flavor, then you would need those two traditional elements. I find this is just another variation of a theme.
A couple of other comments, you will note I used a lot of chile powder, this gumbo has a kick, some would find it to be too much. But, as much as I like a little hot sauce, I believe a dish which integrates the heat is a better choice, plus, I like presenting a complete dish. The heat is not over-bearing, but, it is noticeable and has a clean integrated profile, not like dressing hot sauce on top. Guerry would still kill it with vinegar. I also omitted black pepper until serving. I prefer the pungency of black pepper be unmuted in a dish such as this. When you cook black pepper, it mutes the flavors, when serving with a stew or soup, I like to add the black pepper to the plated dish.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
I'm a good home chef, and get frequent comments that I should go into business, but I will not be flattered into that living hell. - Maskirovka
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."