Annatto seeds come from the achiote tree and are primarily used in Latin and Caribbean cooking but can occasionally be found in Vietnamese & Filipino cuisines
Table of Contents
How Do You Use Annatto Seeds?
Annatto seeds are mainly used as a natural coloring agent to change oils to a bright yellowish-red hue and are used for stews, rice, and noodle soups.
They can also be infused into oil or ground up finely and used directly in marinades or pastes. The color it imparts ranges from a golden hue to a bright orange-red.
Annatto seeds have a very mild nutty and sweet scent. It is a very light flavor and not usually detectable if you are using it in small quantities. The seeds are very hard and should not be eaten whole. Once you have infused it into the food, it should be discarded before serving your dish. Alternatively, if you want to use it directly in food, you can grind it up into a fine powder.
Where Can I Find It?
You can find annatto seeds at Latin, Caribbean, and some Asian grocers in the spice aisle.
Look for bright color seeds when picking them up at the store. Dark-colored seeds usually mean they are old and stale.
How Do I Store It?
Keep Annatto seeds in an air-tight sealed container with your spices away from the sun.