Traditional Achiote Recado

This mild, citrusy red spice paste comes from the Yucatan, where it typically flavours suckling pig. Use as a rub for meat, fish, and poultry.

Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
2 1/2 cups


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp annatto seeds
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp canella
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup each ancho and chipotle powder
  • 4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground Mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, pan-roasted, then peeled
  • 1/2 onion, thickly sliced, sautéed
  • 1/4 cup pineapple vinegar or apple
  • cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


Put the annatto seeds and water in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower heat to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 2 hours, or until softened.

Drain and put in a blender or food processor along with all the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.


Reed Hearon, La Parilla: The Mexican Grill