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Spices Recado
with saffron

The Yucatecan recaudos or recados are varied and fundamental; since they are used as base in the preparation of many Mexican dishes.

They basically consist of a mixture, generally in the form of paste, of different
herbs , spices and sometimes even chilies – that are combined in a delicious condiment. Their use is basic in the elaboration of stews, soups and dishes; because they get impregnated of their particular seasoning.

This recaudo is very particular for its miscegenation, as it uses the saffron . This exquisite spice, one of the most expensive and appreciated in the world, is of Persian origin and it reached the Mexican cuisine by the hand of the Spaniards (that is one of the few producers in the world). Besides it embellishes any stew or recipe with a marvelous orange color.

The flavor and aroma that this recaudo confers is unequalled and
it results exquisite to use while stews are cooked with fish and especially shellfish. It happens to be ideal to give a different seasoning to a rice with shrimps, a crab chilpachole or a good shellfish soup.

About the Recipe

  • In this recipe you are only going to roast and blend – a very simple recipe.
  • The spices recado is prepared with bitter orange. If you don’t get it substitute it for 2 tablespoons of orange juice + 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
  • In this recipe don’t substitute the peppercorns for pepper powder because it has less flavor.
  • Within the ingredients saffron is used, which we recommend using in strands and not ground because it loses many properties.
  • In 10 minutes your recado will be ready.
  • The recipe yields about 3 tablespoons of recado.


  • 1 Bitter Orange (3.5 oz)
  • 1 Garlic head (2.1 oz)
  • 4 Saffron strands
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon branch (.1 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon of Oregano
  • 10 Black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt

  • Cookware

  • 1 Frying Pan
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Turner
  • 1 Orange Squeezer (optional)

  • Directions

    Roast the Spices

    1. Put in a frying pan over medium heat 4 saffron strands and roast them for about 30 seconds, until they are lightly roasted; stir regularly.

    The saffron strands must not be burnt because its flavor becomes bitter.

    1. Transfer from the frying pan to a blender the saffron strands that were roasted, then reserve.
    2. Put in the frying pan over medium heat:
    • 4 Cloves.
    • 1 Cinnamon branch.
    • 10 Black Peppercorns.

    1. Roast the frying pan ingredients for approximately 1 minute, until they are lightly roasted and they release a lot of aroma; stir regularly.
    2. Transfer from the frying pan to the blender the spices that were roasted, then reserve.

    Roast the Garlic and Blend the Ingredients

    1. Put in the frying pan over medium heat 1 garlic head and roast it for about 4 minutes, until all their sides are moderately roasted; stir regularly.
    2. Remove from the frying pan the garlic head and wait until it cools a little.
    3. Separate the garlic cloves from the garlic head that was roasted.
    4. Peel the garlic cloves that were separated and then put them in the blender.
    5. Also add in the blender:
    • The juice of 1/2 Bitter Orange.
    • 1 tablespoon of Oregano.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt.

    1. Blend very well the ingredients.

    Mixture of Flavors
    and Aromas

    Tip: If you are going to refrigerate the recado put it in an airtight jar so it doesn’t lose its aromas .

    Variation: Do you know the steak recado ?

    Did you like the Spice Recado?

    Mexican Dishes

    Garlic Shrimps
    Veracruz Style Fish
    Achiote Shrimp Brochettes
    Fried Chicken Tacos
    School Shark Bread

    Additional Info

    This is the best saffron that can be used for the recado.

    Use organic cloves so the preparation obtains more flavor and more aroma.

    Buy an orange squeezer so it is easier to work with the bitter orange.

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