Adobo Sauce Vs. Seasoning

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Adobo is a traditional all-purpose seasoning in many Latin American cultures. Many home cooks have their own favorite blend of salt and spices, while others keep commercially prepared adobo on hand. It is available both as a sauce or paste and as a dry seasoning blend. Many cooks keep both types of adobo in their pantries, and use them for different dishes.


Adobo Seasoning

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A basic adobo seasoning traditionally features salt, pepper, garlic and oregano. Some blends also incorporate paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and other spices. Commercial varieties are available in most grocery stores. Some brands are more spicy or salty than others. You may need to try several in order to find one that fits your tastes.

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If you prefer to take a hands-on approach, blend your own adobo. This allows you to customize the seasoning to your tastes and dietary needs. Store it in an airtight container away from heat and light.

Uses for Adobo Seasoning

Sprinkle adobo seasoning on meat, poultry and fish before cooking. Use it as a seasoned salt on potatoes, rice and vegetables. Shake it over popcorn or roasted nuts to liven up ordinary snacks. Adobo is a versatile seasoning that adds flavor and a hint of spice to a wide variety of foods.


Adobo Sauce

Adobo sauce is a term used to describe a variety of marinades and condiments in Latin American cuisine. These sauces generally consist of ground chiles, garlic, vinegar and cumin. Some versions also feature crushed tomatoes or tomato paste.


Mole adobo sauce is a variety that is made with unsweetened chocolate. It is a spicy, savory sauce. Mole is not used in dessert dishes, despite the addition of chocolate.

Uses for Adobo Sauce

Adobo sauce is frequently used as a marinade for meat and poultry. You can also serve adobo sauce as a dip or condiment for grilled or roasted meats.


When you buy canned chipotle chiles, they often come packed in adobo sauce. Rather than throwing away the liquid, add it to the dish you are preparing with the chipotles.

Replace up to one quarter of the water with adobo sauce when making rice for a spicy, flavorful side dish.


Mix adobo sauce with sour cream to cut the spiciness. Spread this mixture on tortillas before adding adobo-marinated and grilled meat for a simple meal.



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