Years ago I went to see a comedy show at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City. One of the comedians performing that evening was Puerto Rican and during his stand up he explained what it’s like to grow up in the Puerto Rican culture. He talked about the way Puerto Ricans do certain things and touched upon the way we cook.
He specifically brought up sazon and his explanation of what it is was not only funny but very accurate. He said “Latinos love seasoning everything with sazon! It comes in a little packet and makes everything in your house orange!”
Yes sazon does make everything you put on it orange, well more of a yellowish orange color. It’s the main ingredient we use to make white rice into yellow rice in traditional recipes like rice with pigeon peas (arroz con gandules) and rice with chicken (arroz con pollo).
The main ingredients that make up sazon are salt, cilantro, garlic and achiote. Achiote aka annatto is a seed that can be used as a natural food dye as well as a spice. Like adobo, sazon is used on all type of meats but I use it to flavor beans, plant-based soups and stews.
It can be found at your local supermarket or Hispanic supermarket prepackaged. If you are short on time then the prepackaged may be more convenient but making your own fresh sazon is easy and not time consuming at all. One batch of this can season many meals so by making it ahead of time it will definitely save you time when you need to use some.
If you want to make your own fresh sazon, try this recipe since it contains pure ingredients and will last you at least a month when stored in an air tight container.
Get the recipe below!
Get the printable recipe here.
Yield: ¼ cup
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground achiote (annatto seeds)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon ground tomato powder
1 tablespoon dried sweet red bell peppers (grounded)
1. Combine all ingredients until evenly mixed.
2. Store mixture in an airtight glass jar until ready to use.