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Homemade Adobo and Sazon Seasonings

2/06/2013 *Sara-Marie* 48 Comments


In Puerto Rican cooking, we tend to use Goya Adobo and Goya Sazon to season rice, stews, meats, everything. I've been trying to use less of it due to the MSG and other additives but I just can't make "my chicken" without it. Then I thought, there's gotta be a way to make it at home. Goya hasn't been around forever and I'm sure my great grandmothers cooked just fine without it. So I put on my thinking cap and made my own spice blends that taste exactly the same if not better! Yay! I can still enjoy the flavors of my heritage without the MSG!

Homemade Adobo Seasoning Recipe

 
Recipe Ingredients:
  • 2 TBSP salt (I use Kosher salt)
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1/2 TBSP turmeric 
Recipe Directions:

1. Mix all spices into an airtight container and give it a good shake. If you have a spice grinder, that would give you the same feel as Goya Adobo, but I kind of liked the coarse blend.

NOTE: I stored the spice mixture in a small glass mason jar with an airtight lid.

Homemade Sazon Seasoning Recipe

Recipe Ingredients:
  • 1 TBSP salt (I use Kosher salt)
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground annato (or grind your own annato seeds)
Recipe Directions:
1. Mix all spices into an airtight container and give it a good shake. If you can only find annato seeds, instead of ground annato, you'll want to use a spice grinder.

NOTE: Again, I stored the spice mixture in a small glass mason jar with an airtight lid. If you're used to using the Goya Sazon packets, 1/2 TBSP of the spice blend is equivalent to 1 packet. Also, using this Sazon will give your food a more brownish red color instead of the bright orange you may be used to from the store bought kind. Considering annato seeds are a more brownish red color naturally, I bet the bright orange color comes from something fake. I rather not!


Please let me know your thoughts!

XOXO,
SMP

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48 comments:

  1. what do you use to give the rice color?

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    1. The annato in the Sazon is what gives the rice color.

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  2. Thanks so much for your reply! I went looking for it but could not find annato where did you buy yours?

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    Replies
    1. I believe I found mine in Wegmans. But you should be able to find it in the Latino food aisle of any grocery store. Glad to help! Thanks for reading the blog! :)

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    2. Thanks I actually went to a few grocery stores but could not find it until i went to this little Mexican grocery story and found it lol. Thanks I made it came out good except the annato seeds did not really grind good . when you made yours did you still have pieces left from the annato??

      -Ana

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    3. Yes, I do find that I still have some pieces left so I just pick them out if i find it in my final dish.

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    4. If you're up to it, I find that a mortar and pestle grind the annato seeds quite well. I do that first then add it to the remaining ingredients and blend

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  3. what percentage of msg would you say was in the packets?

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    1. I have no clue! LOL, let me know if you find out!

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    2. It's the first ingredient, so a high percentage for sure.

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  4. I read elsewhere that annoto and paprika were comparable. Ur thoughts

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    1. Hi Alan! I do believe that paprika can be used as a substitute for annatto. If you give it a try, let me know how it comes out!

      Thanks!

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  5. Thank you. I recently was curious about the ingredients in Sazon and then I saw MSG ahhhh! All these years my family has been cooking with Sazon =/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting! I know, we've used it for ever!

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  6. Hi! I saw your post and would like to point you to an MSG-free Sazón. It's called Badia Sazón Tropical and it comes in two varieties: original and one with annatto. Here's a link: http://badia-spices.elsstore.com/view/category/12461-ready-made-blends/

    Also, you could try to find ground annatto (or annatto powder - achiote en polvo) so you don't have chunks of seeds in your sazón.

    Hope this helps.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips! Will definitely have to find the ground annatto!

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  7. u can use a coffee grinder to grind the seeds/ of course do not use the one you use for your coffee, duh

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  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you for these recipes! The commerically prepared ones are full of MSG (TOXIC!). I'm grateful for these easy to duplicate recipes. :)

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    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Glad you found these recipes useful. :)

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  9. Very good recipes. I really needed an alternative for Goya's sazón without the MSG. I just wish I hadn't waited so long to look for one. Good job.

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  10. Thank you for posting these recipes. It was very helpful. I was going to use a mix of saffron, paprika, and turmeric as a substitute for the annato, all which were mentioned as substitutes for it when I looked it up. I also try to cook without msg. Thanks, again.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you found these helpful Jeannine! How did the substitutes work?

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  11. Just as an aside, MSG is not toxic. It is naturally found in a lot of foods including tomatoes. People can react to it if they eat a lot, such as can be found in processed foods. The same thing would happen if people sensitive to it ate a lot of tomatoes.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Sarah. We try to avoid food additives and processed foods in our household :)

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  12. Thanks so much for sharing! Nobody knows how to make this. Stuff anymore, everybody uses goya. I love knowing more of the old fashioned way:)

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  13. Have you tried mixing these two recipes together? My favorite seasoning is La Cena Adobo with Sazon, but it's not available where I live and basically impossible to buy online. Any suggestions on how to combine them?

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    Replies
    1. Well, when making chicken, I typically do use both seasonings at a ratio of about 1 tablespoon of the adobo to 1/2 tablespoon of the sazon. Hope that helps!

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    2. I'll try it and let you know. Thanks! If your recipe is anything like the La Cena brand, I'll be in heaven.

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  14. Can I use some ground saffron instead of annato? I'm so dependant on my Goya products and am really looking forward to trying these recipes. I'm not familiar with using annato and don't like the idea of dealing with seeds I have to pick out.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, ground saffron should work just fine - although it may be a bit expensive. I've heard you could also find ground annato, though I haven't looked since I have such a big bottle of the seeds already. You can also grind it up more finely with a spice grinder!

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  15. People having trouble finding ANNATTO seed may have some luck if they go to an EAST INDIAN grocery and look for SINDOOR (same seed) or a FILIPINO grocery and look for ATSUETE.

    I live in Ireland and i was only went I started looking in Indian and African shops that I could find them!

    Also, pigeon peas are impossible to find in Europe, but AFRICAN GUNGO PEAS/BEANS are the same!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the tips! Sorry it took me so long to respond - I took a bit of a blogging hiatus. :)

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  16. Sara:
    Thank you for posting this. I am so sensitive to MSG, but love the taste of Sazon and Adobo. I never have to buy the commercial stuff again!

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    1. Thank you! No problem at all - it's so easy to make I would never buy it from the store again. Sorry it took me so long to respond - I took a bit of a blogging hiatus. :)

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  17. Yay! Happy to stumble upon this as I was getting ready to make bistec encebollado for my Puerto Rican husband but we've been without sazon or adobo for a while now since we cleaned up our diet. Good to see this out here as I had not yet gotten around to coming up w/ a blend myself. I'm guessing my habichuelas rosadas will be getting a bit better soon too since I've been making them without the sazon for a while now. Thanks!

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    1. Glad you found us! Hope you enjoy these wonderful flavors :)

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  18. I use a 2/1 ratio of annato/turmeric. My rice & beans have a nice yellowish/orangy color

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    1. The turmeric exchange is just what I was looking for. Thanks.

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  19. You should know that MSG is not harmful at all and is one of the five fundamental flavours anything can have. It's also natural. It's sensible to cut out preservatives and anti-caking agents that aren't necessary when you're cooking at home, but MSG simply provides flavour and is one of the only ways to include the natural umami sensation and taste. Your tongue tastes, sweet, salty, bitterness, sourness, and umami. It's a rich, hearty taste that adds a lot of dimension to many dishes and has for thousands of years of human cuisine.

    Cut out the MSG if you don't want that flavour, but in terms of changing the recipe, it's equivalent to throwing out the salt, or the pepper, or the tumeric. Do that if you like how the recipe tastes after the change, but it genuinely sounds like you're cutting MSG from your diet because you are misinformed about MSG, and in turn are spreading those misconceptions.

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    1. Whether MSG is good or bad, some people are allergic to it. My daughter's boyfriend will get terrible migraines if he eats food with msg. To be able to make homemade sazon without msg will let him finally enjoy the foods I make.

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    2. Good or bad MSG is a processed food additive that some have trouble with and has no nutritional value. If you want to add umami to your food try a more natural approach. Dehydrated dark mushrooms, tomatoes, red bell peppers and dulse all have "free glutamate" plus real nutrition.

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  20. What are some traditional dishes with adobo con sazon?

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  21. Thanks so much for the info! MSG is in everything packaged so it is hard to avoid without making your own at home.

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