Haitian Epis – Seasoning Base Recipe

16 people
10 min

Last Updated on January 22, 2021 by


Haitian Epis – a flavorful combination of herbs and aromatics used as a marinade or seasoning base with just about all Haitian savory foods from hearty meat dishes to vegetable side dishes.


Knowing how to make Epis seasoning – aka the Haitian Sofrito is the key to explore Haitian Recipes for every meal!

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Have you ever cooked with Haitian epis?


Table Of Contents



    Just about every part of the Caribbean has a flavorful spice paste that is ubiquitous throughout the cuisine. Latin countries have Sofrito, the British Caribbean islands have Green Seasoning and Haiti has Epis.


    Check it out!

    This recipe is also available as a web story – Haitian Epis Web Story!


    As I am someone with mixed Caribbean heritage, I have a unique perspective in that I have made all of them and used all of them and I have to say I am partial to Haitian epis. I try to be traditional and authentic with recipes so when making Habichuela Guisada of course I will only make it with sofrito. However, for every day cooking at home, my go to is always Haitian Epis.


    Even my Mom who grew up on islands where Green Seasoning is used, prefers Epis. So I grew up with the flavors of Epis in most of my food and can’t believe it has taken me this long to share the recipe with you. Sometimes the easy base recipes elude me as I try to present appreciation of all cultures on this website.

    Haitian Epis only requires a few simple ingredients:


    Ingredients


    • cloves
    • bouillon cubes
    • garlic
    • thyme
    • celery
    • bell pepper
    • onion
    • scallions
    • shallots
    • vinegar
    • olive oil
    • lime juice

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    How to make Haitian Epis


    • Cut the vegetables into smaller pieces.
    • Using a food processor, first grind the cloves, bouillon cubes, garlic, thyme and celery. If you overcrowd the machine with everything at one time, the smaller things will not grind properly.
    • It is not necessary to remove the thyme leaves if they are on the tender branches. Only remove them if they are on the woody stalks.
    • Now add the parsley, onions, scallions, shallots and bell pepper.
    • Process until very fine.
    • Add the vinegar and olive oil, as well as lime juice, if using. Process until thoroughly incorporated.

    Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

    Variations


    Variations will occur from region to region and family to family, but no Haitian house does not have a jar of Haitian Epis Seasoning Base in their refrigerator.


    • Also, Haitian Epis is made a little different every time depending what’s in the fridge. Any variation of garlic, onions, bell pepper or celery can be used.
    • While I like using a variety of onion types for more complex flavor, if I don’t have any shallots and need epis, I will make it without the shallots. You can use any variety and type of onions that happen to be in your pantry. However, since red onion has such a strong flavor and can overpower the other ingredients, I would stay away from red onion.
    • You need some kind of acid to serve as a preservative. Any combination of vinegar, lime juice or lemon juice can be used.
    • Any kind of vinegar can be used, but apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is most common.
    • With all of these possible variations, you might ask what makes the flavor different and unique than the other seasoning bases? Essential are cloves and bouillon cubes. Without these two ingredients, it won’t tastes like epis. These two ingredients are non negotiables.


    How long with epis last?


    It should be stored in the refrigerator in a glass jar. It will last for up to 3 months.

    What is Haitian epis used for?


    Just about everything – All of our meat dishes get marinated with Haitian Epis. It’s added into bean based dishes like Sauce Pois.


    This flavorful seasoning base can be added to all your foods – rice, beans, vegetables, salad dressing, soup – the possibilities are endless!

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    Haitian Epis – Seasoning Base Recipe
    Recipe details
    • 16  people
    • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 10 min
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    Ingredients

    • 7 cloves
    • 12 cloves garlic
    • 2 bouillon cubes
    • a few sprigs of thyme
    • 2 stalks celery
    • 1 bell pepper
    • 1/2 bunch parsley
    • 1 onion
    • 3 shallots
    • 7 scallions
    • 1/3 cup vinegar
    • 1/4 cup oil
    • juice of 1 lime
    Instructions

    Cut the vegetables into smaller pieces.
    Using a food processor, first grind the cloves, bouillon cubes, garlic, thymey and celery. If you overcrowd the machine with everything at one time, the smaller things will not grind properly.
    Now add the parsley, onions, scallions, shallots and bell pepper.
    Process until very fine.
    Add vinegar, oil and lime juice, if using.
    Process until smooth.
    Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
    Tips
    • It is not necessary to remove the thyme leaves if they are on the tender branches. Only remove them if they are on the woody stalks.
    • Yield: 16 oz.
    Mireille Roc
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