I can (and will) teach you how to make your own blend, but this
WHAT IS IT?
Adobo can refer to a wide variety of wet and dry sauces and rubs in Spanish or Latin cuisine, but adobo seco refers to the all-purpose dry spice blend out of Puerto Rico with some variation of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and the Puerto Rican form of orégano brujo, which isn’t really oregano. It goes by just “Adobo” in its store-bought form even though there are a ton of adobo blends. This is the 101 blend, with pepper, that is pretty common to find in the Caribbean and the American South. Variations come without pepper, with cumin, orange peel, etc. I find this blend is the most versatile.
GOYA adobo seca is salt, granulated garlic, oregano, black pepper and turmeric.
Adobo seco is a dry, salty, savory all-purpose seasoning with a little herbal magic from the orégano brujo. It’s a garlic salt with added color and flavor from the turmeric, with a little herbal musk from the oregano.
As you know, I am all about originalism. Goya gives their adobo seco a really nice, fine grind that makes it a very delicate spice that can be applied in a wider variety of applications. I love Adobo as a sprinkle of salty, seasoned, flavorful pop on meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and so much more! It’s a MUST HAVE for every kitchen. Your salt container may grow lonely or jealous!
Commonly found throughout Latin cuisines from Spain to the Philippines, adobo seco is gradually creeping into the day-to-day of non-Latino foods, as the blend has a lot of uses in multiple cuisines outside of Latin foods.
- Yellow rice
- Roast pork dishes
- Pinchos (Chicken kebabs)
- Guisado al Pollo
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- My secret weapon in perfect eggs;
- Dust over a steak with a little onion powder and schezwan pepper, sous vide the steak then broil the outside for a couple of minutes for color;
- Add to dough for a tasty fry bread;
- Amazing on roast chicken with a few fenugreek leaves and a coconut oil rub.
The term ‘adobo’ comes from adobar, which literally means “marinade.” Most adobos are WET, and made with vinegar. Vinegar and salt break down the toughest meats and render them tender, which is probably why adobos date back to the earliest days of cooking on the Iberian Peninsula.
Iberian cuisine is the culmination of a wide variety of influences: Indigenous, Greek, Roman, Moorish, and the many places which Latin explorers, traders, and conquerors from Spain and Portugal traveled and dominated.
One of the first known references to an adobo is in 1850 in a cookbook called “Manual del Cocinero,Repostero,Pastelero,Confitero Y Bottilera” by Mariano de Rementeria y Fica.
Adobo seco, the dry rub common to Puerto Rico, Cuba and Hispaniola, probably evolved out of its stability and utility. Heavy-salt rubs fare better in tropical climates without refrigeration.
Even though there are a fair number of adobo seca products out there, GOYA’s gets my Jazz Chef Five Diamond ranking because it