Saturday, July 20, 2013

Make Your Own Cuban Sazon Completa / Adobo Seasoning

One of the staples of the Cuban kitchen is a spice mix called "sazon completa" or as labeled in English on the product itself "complete seasoning". It is a shortcut to measuring out each individual spice, and is used in many Cuban dishes.

Sounds great right? It is, and until recently, I used it too, that is until I read the label. Right there in very tiny type, I actually had to take a picture of it and blow it up on screen to read it, were the words monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG. Now, I am not a quest to abolish the stuff, as I have a tendency to say "to each his own". If you don't mind the MSG, then by all means use it.  I just want people who are sensitive to MSG, like me, to be aware that it is in there. My real quest was to come up with my own sazon completa mix, sans the MSG. Through the usual trial and error, I finally came up with the right mix of spices. To make up for the absence of MSG, I found that using dried lime zest, not only elevated the overall flavor, but really brought it home ... it was just like sazon completa, only way better. Additionally, you are paying less per ounce then buying the bottled version, you can adapt it to your palette and you know what's going into it. In my book, that's a home run!

Makes 1 1/4 cup of mix

4 tablespoons of kosher salt
6 tablespoons of granulated garlic
2 tablespoons oregano
4 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons black pepper
3 tablespoons dried lime zest
2 tablespoons dried parsley

Throw all the ingredients into a spice grinder (a.k.a. Coffee grinder), give it a few whirls to blend thoroughly. Store in a lidded container for up to six month.

Use on meat, chicken, pork, seafoods, vegetables, soups and more. ENJOY!


  1. I use a lot of adobe in my seasoning for grilling and smoking. But sometimes it is hard to find in the stores here.
    Now I never have to worry about that anymore.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. You are so very welcome Eddie! Not only will you be able to make it fresh yourself, you don't have to worry about additives like MSG getting into your food. Enjoy and thank you for taking the time to comment.

  2. This sounds really good. One question though... is the oregano you are using ground powder or is it in leaf form?

    1. Hi Deborah, first thanks for stopping by and commenting. i use the dried leaf form - i've never used a powder form of oregano but if this is what you have try using it just adjust the quantity according to its strength level.