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"So What" Haitian Epis Seasoning Base Recipe

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Bold, flavorful Haitian epis seasoning base that makes everything taste better including both Haitian dishes and non-Haitian recipes. If you're looking to add a little something extra to your cooking, epis seasoning is a great option.

If you're looking for a seasoning with a bit of a kick, this Haitian epis recipe is perfect for you. With a flavor that's both spicy and earthy, this seasoning is perfect for adding some extra flavor to your food. Try it on chicken, fish, rice, or whatever - you won't be disappointed!

Epis seasoning is a traditional Haitian spice blend that is used to flavor many Haitian dishes. It typically consists of garlic, onions, peppers, and other spices.

Epis is essential to Haitian cuisine and is relatively simple to make at home, and it can be easily customized to your own taste preferences. If you're looking for a way to add some extra flavor to your meals, epis seasoning is definitely worth trying.

blended haitian epis in a jar

Beats and Eats (Music to pair with epis seasoning)

When I think of epis I think of the standup bass on Miles Davis’ song “So What” from the Kind Of Blue Album. It’s not the headline instrument but that bass is the foundation and is what the song that thing. Epis plays the same role in food recipes.

Haitian Seasoning Ingredients

epis ingredients on a tray
  • Yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • Red bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • Yellow bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • Habanero chili peppers seeds and veins removed
  • Celery stick
  • Scallions coarsely chopped
  • Garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • Fresh thyme sprigs leaves only
  • Parsley leaves chopped roughly
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

What Is Haitian Epis?

Epis is the Haitian equivalent of a sofrito or green seasoning and serves as a base for most Haitian recipes. It’s a blend of herbs, peppers, garlic, oil and vinegar. If you're new to Haitian food, one of the things you'll notice when you try it is the depth of flavor.

That depth is provided by the consistent use of epis which Haitians have long been using to enhance meals from the most basic to the more complex. Epis is useful in flavoring soups, stews, rice and especially dope a marinade for most meats.

Epis recipes vary based on where you're from, who your peoples are, and just general preference. It's easy to modify allowing you to enjoy those delicious Haitian flavors your way.

How To Make Epis (Step by Step)

There are no real steps. It’s like making salsa - just roughly chop and blend!

Step 1: Blend the ingredients

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until the consistency of a coarse salsa. Add more olive oil if needed for blending.

epis ingredients in a blender

Serving Suggestions

Epis goes with just about anything. I use it as an ingredient mostly, but I’ve used it as a topping for meat dishes and occasionally as a dip. Try it in dishes like:

Haitian Soup Joumou

Haitian Spaghetti

Smothered Green Beans and Potatoes

Mashed Cauliflower

Chicken Fried Pork Steaks

Stewed Okra

Coconut Rice

Fried Eggs

Black-eyed Peas

Key Tips For Making Epis

  • Use fresh ingredients where possible. Dry spices like allspice, whole cloves, paprika, or bouillon cubes can be added.
  • Find the spices and herbs that work for you, so don’t feel like you have to stick to the script
  • Mortar and pestle works great to make this if you have one available, otherwise a food processor or blender works fine
  • Colors for this seasoning base will vary depending on the types of ingredients used. The type/color of the bell peppers used will most impact color.
  • Make a big batch ahead of time and keep refrigerated using at your pleasure

Variations

Variations can occur from place to place or family to family, but no Haitian home has no Haitian Epis Seasoning Base not in its fridge. I like to add a little acidity from time to time like lemon juice, lime juice or apple cider vinegar. I keep mine mild pretty much always, but I've tried scotch bonnet peppers when I used epis as a chicken marinade.

Haitian Epis Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I Need Any Special Equipment To Make Epis?

Only a food processor or blender. I use a simple Magic Bullet Blender for small jobs like epis.

Is Haitian epis spicy hot?

Only if you make it hot as in include the seeds from the peppers. I tend to go for a mild flavor profile as pungent add-ins can really change the dish in a way that overpowers whatever its added to.

How long can it last refrigerated?

I make quite a bit and use it generously with most meals including breakfast and dinner. I’ve had a batch do just fine refrigerated for a month.

What is Haitian Epis made of?

Haitian epis seasoning is a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, typically including garlic, thyme, oregano, and bell peppers. The exact ingredients can vary depending on the region or person cooking, but these are some of the most common.

Epis seasoning is used to add flavor to dishes like rice and beans, stews, and soups. It can also be used as a marinade for meats or vegetables. Haitian epis has a vibrant, flavorful taste that is loved by many. If you're looking to add a little something extra to your cooking, Haitian epis seasoning is a great option.

Are sofrito and epis the same?

Sofrito and epis are two very popular seasonings used in many different dishes. Both of them are made with a variety of spices, herbs and vegetables. While they share many similarities, there are also some key differences.

Epis is typically made with a base of onions, garlic and bell peppers, while sofrito often includes tomatoes as well. In addition, epis is often times used as a marinade, while sofrito is more often used as a cooking base.

Is green seasoning the same as Haitian seasoning base?

Green seasoning and epis seasoning are two common seasonings used in Caribbean cooking. Both are made with a blend of herbs and spices, and used for the same purposes i.e. to flavor meats, veggies, or rice dishes. Flavorwise depending how their seasoned green seasoning has a brighter flavor, while epis has a more robust flavor.

What is Haitian epis used for?

These days I put epis seasoning on just about anythignfrom smothered green beans to marinated chicken. This flavorful seasoning could easily be mixed with almost any meal – rice, beans, vegetables, salad dressings, or soup.

For similar recipes you might like, try these:

Collard Greens Salsa Verde

Zhug Sauce

West African Peanut Sauce

Jerk Marinade

Haitian Pikliz

Haitian seasoning base is a Haitian spice mixture that can be used in many different dishes. It’s easy to make and gives your food a delicious flavor. Why not give it a try in this recipe for your next shrimp or chicken dish? The combination of spices is sure to please your taste buds. So, what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

If you make this delicious Haitian epis recipe or any other from the site, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlist.

blended haitian epis in a jar

Haitian Epis Seasoning

Base seasoning for Haitian cuisine
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Haitian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 43kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • ½ yellow bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • 2 habanero chili peppers seeds and veins removed
  • 1 celery stick
  • 4 scallions coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs leaves only
  • 1 cup parsley leaves chopped roughly
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves optional

Instructions

  • Purée all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Notes

  • Use fresh ingredients where possible
  • Find the spices and herbs that work for you, so don’t feel like you have to stick to the script
  • Mortar and pestle works great to make this if you have one available, otherwise food processor/blender works fine
  • Make a big batch ahead of time and keep refrigerated using at your pleasure

Nutrition

Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 766mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1352IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




Andrea

Friday 12th of August 2022

Tomatoes don’t go into sofrito, recipes may be different between families but sofrito should be green. (culantro, aji dulce, yellow onion, olive oil, garlic)

Marwin Brown

Monday 15th of August 2022

There are no tomatoes in this recipe. Also this is a recipe for Haitian epis seasoning and not sofrito.

Rebecca Rhaesa

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

Have you tried "fermenting" epis? Just curious.

Marwin Brown

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

I have not, but now I just might!