What is Adobo Seasoning: Easy Spice Cooking

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If you are looking for a spice mix that will liven up chicken or veggie fajitas, look no further!

What is Adobo Seasoning?

Adobo seasoning is a spice blend used for easy spice cooking. Adobo seasoning is popularly used as an all purpose seasoning in Latin American cuisines. It was originally used to preserve meat, and has become a common savory seasoning added to meats, sauces, stews, and beans.

Adobo seasoning is not related to the Filipino adobo dish, a marinade that uses soy sauce and vinegar.

How is Adobo Seasoning made?

The adobo seasoning blend recipe differs depending on the culture, but in general it is made from granulated garlic or garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and a type of citrus. The word adobo comes from the Spanish word adobar, which literally means “to marinate.”

What types of Adobo Seasoning are there?

The original adobo seasoning was made with heavy amounts of salt and vinegar in order to preserve meat. Although Adobo seasoning has evolved into a wet rub and a dry rub, or seasoning blend, today adobo seasoning is mostly used as a dry seasoning.

Depending on the type, adobo seasoning is yellow because it includes turmeric, or red because it includes chili.

Adobo seasoning varies in terms of how spicy it is too, and its spice depends on how much black pepper or chilis are added.

Variations of adobo seasoning usually have a base of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, ground black pepper, and turmeric or chili powder. Cultural variations of the all purpose seasoning include other spices.

Cuban adobo typically includes sour orange juice, garlic, and cumin.

Puerto Rican adobo is made with oregano and vinegar.

Other dry spices added to dry adobo seasoning include dried onions, parsley, sometimes cilantro, and dried citrus made from limes or lemons.

Adobo mojado, or wet adobo, adds fresh onions, lime juice, vinegar, sour orange juice, or olive oil to make a wet marinade.

What does Adobo Seasoning taste like?

Adobo seasoning is a savory, salty, and acidic seasoning or marinade in the spice blend cuisine. Many variations also include garlic powder.

How to cook with Adobo Seasoning

If you’re looking for a Cuban, Mexican, or tex mex flavor, adobo seasoning will get you there.

Adobo seasoning can add flavor of herbs and spices to many cuisines and savory dishes.

Mexican cooking uses a deep red adobo sauce or dry adobo that uses dried chilis. Use this variation in fish tacos with chipotle mayonnaise, and Mexican rice.

I recommend adding adobo seasoning to this recipe for How to Cook Corn on the Cob!

To enter the world of Cuban cuisine, use Goya Adobo All Purpose Seasoning with Bitter Orange on braised pork. This cajun seasoning take take you as far as your imagination.

Make chicken in your slow cooker with a few shakes of dry adobo seasoning or a couple teaspoons of adobo wet seasoning.

Adobo Seasoning substitutes

If your prized adobo jar is empty, there are many spices to turn to. It’s easy to make homemade adobo seasoning.

Homemade adobo seasoning recipes available on the internet tend to include the following ingredients and quantities.

Use the following adobo seasoning recipe as a guide, and mix-and-match spices to suit your cuisine and your taste.

  • 3 parts garlic powder
  • 1 part onion powder
  • 1 part dried oregano
  • 1 part salt
  • 1/2 part turmeric or chili powder
  • 1/2 part ground black pepper

Add more pepper to ramp up the spice, paprika or chili powder for a more spicy and red look, or turmeric to turn your spice blend yellow.

For every teaspoon of adobo seasoning called-for in your recipe, substitute an equal, one teaspoon of your homemade adobo seasoning.

Where to buy adobo seasoning

Many different types of adobo seasoning are available on the spice market, including Goya, Badia, a low sodium vegan gluten free option, and an absolute favorite from Simply Organic.

Adobo seasoning can be bought in any grocery store in the spice, Latin American, or International isle. It’s common to find both adobo dry spice as well as adobo wet seasoning in most stores, and of course online.

How to store Adobo Seasoning

Since most adobo seasoning mixes include a fair amount of salt and citric acid (vinegar or citrus), they can keep for a long time. Preserve wet or dry adobo seasoning’s rich flavor by storing in an airtight container in the fridge or a cool, dark cupboard for up to six months (more if unopened).

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